Monday, August 04, 2008

ZOV's Grilled Shrimp with Mint & Cilantro Pesto

Grilled Shrimp with Mint & Cilantro Pesto
From ZOV Recipes & Memories From the Heart
My photo doesn't compare to Pornchai Mittongtare's, but the dish was awesome

Prep time: 5 minutes
Marinating time: 1-24 hours (refrigerated)
Grill time: 5 minutes
Serves 4(as main) or 8-12 (as appetizer)

2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp chopped fresh Italian/flat leaf parsley
½ tsp garlic, minced
½ tsp ground black pepper
¼ tsp salt
24 jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails intact (I actually removed the tails, thus the less than stellar photo)
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
½ cup Mint & Cilantro Pesto

Mint & Cilantro Pesto:
½ cups toasted walnuts
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 garlic cloves, peeled
½ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp dried crushed red chili pepper
1 cup (packed) fresh cilantro leaves
1 cup (packed) fresh mint leaves
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil

Mint & Cilantro Pesto
1. Blend the nuts, cheese, garlic, black pepper, salt & red chili pepper flakes in a food processor until a thick paste forms.

2. Add the cilantro, mint & lemon juice. Blend until the mint & cilantro are finely chopped. With the machine running, gradually add the oil and blend until the mixture is creamy and smooth.

Pesto will keep for a month refrigerated or frozen in an airtight container for a month. Bring to room temperature before using.

For the shrimp:
1. Stir the oil, parsley, garlic, pepper and salt in a medium bowl and blend. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes or up to 1 day.
(Ruth’s note: I was in a hurry and didn’t read the recipe through before I tossed the shrimp with the pesto, so I marinated them in the pesto overnight…still delicious, but next time I’ll try it ZOV’s way).

2. Prepare the BBQ (or in my case, the Griddler or grill pan). Working in batches, grill the shrimp until they are pink and just opaque in the center, 2 minutes or so per side.

3. Place the cooked shrimp in a clean bowl and cool to room temperature, if desired. Toss the shrimp with lemon juice and 2 tbsp of the Mint & Cilantro Pesto – just enough to coat the shrimp. Spoon the remaining pesto into a small bowl

4. Transfer the shrimp to a platter and garnish with lemon wedges and mint or parsley.

Great served as appetizers with toothpicks along side or atop salads and pasta tossed with more pesto, as I did.

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