Holy cow! It’s blistering hot outside this week, which means I will stay as far away from the oven as humanly possible. Have you ever heard people say that they lose their appetite and can’t eat when it’s hot outside? I am not one of them. But what to do when it’s so hot out that all you want to do is sit in front of a fan with a refreshing beverage? Thoughts immediately went to these big old shrimp, served nice and cold with some crisp peppers and a refreshing lemon and herb dressing. I have been making this recipe for about a million years, and it has appeared at just about every catering job I’ve ever had because it’s easy, beautiful, and no fail – this is very important when you have run out of time and have had delusions of grandeur about estimating how much food you could prepare for a couple hundred people in a short amount of time. This shrimp presentation is wonderful as an appetizer or light lunch or supper served with grilled bread, but also great tossed with orzo pasta for a cool summer salad. Bathed in lemon juice and olive oil, the shrimp are in good company with bias sliced scallions and red, yellow, and orange bell peppers. The scent of fresh herbs perfumes the dish and makes it irresistible. Come on over to the blog, and I’ll talk you through it…
This whole business comes together in three easy steps: #1 – Boil shrimp in salted water for 2-3 minutes; #2 – Make the marinade, which is quite easy and even though there are a ton of herbs in there, feel free to substitute dried for fresh, and #3 – Chop your veg and stir everything together. See? Told ya. Throw on an edible flower if you are feeling quite wild and full of yourself.
There is only one sort of tricky part to this recipe – be careful not to overcook the shrimp. They only take 2-3 minutes in boiling, salted water but keep your eyes on them and when they start to turn pink they are close to done I like to fish one out of the water and try it just to be sure. Once you’ve got that covered, I love to serve this with grilled bread that has been liberally laced with garlic butter. You can also toss everything with some orzo pasta and add some feta cheese for a refreshing, cold summer salad. Today, as you can see, we are going the grilled bread route.
Final warning: stand back when you bring it to the table – a stamped is guaranteed. It’s usually a good idea to serve this with a big spoon to avoid members of your party going in with the hand-scooping approach. This will not be looked on favorably by anybody who is next in line.
Happy summer! Hope you enjoy this one, and thanks so much for reading the blog today – we know how much is out there to take care of, and really appreciate the fact you’ve spent some time with us. xoxoxoxo
- FOR THE SHRIMP
- 1 pound jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined with tails left on (Pssst: you can even use Bay Shrimp if you want)
- FOR THE DRESSING
- 3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped (or 1 tablespoon dried basil)
- 3 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped (or 1 tablespoon dried dill)
- 1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary, or to taste (rosemary can be quite strong) (or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary)
- 1 Tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped (or 1 teaspoons dried tarragon)
- 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
- 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 2 Tablespoons spicy mustard
- 5 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- FOR THE VEG
- 2 – 3 scallions, use both the green and white parts, sliced on the bias
- 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and slivered or diced
- 1 orange bell pepper, cored, seeded, and slivered or diced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, and slivered or diced
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- FOR THE SHRIMP
- Fill a 4-quart or larger sauce pan ¾ full with water and bring to boil.
- Add about 2 tablespoons salt and return to boil.
- Add shrimp and cook until opaque in the center, about 2-3 minutes, depending on the size of the shrimp.
- Remove shrimp from boiling water and immediately plunge into an ice water bath to stop the cooking process. When cooled, drain and refrigerate.
- FOR THE DRESSING AND VEG
- Combine all of the garlic, mustard, and lemon juice in a large bowl, blender or food processor. Drizzle in olive oil while processing or whisking by hand until slightly thickened.
- Stir in the herbs
- Stir in the slivered peppers and sliced scallions.
- Gently toss in the shrimp.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- COOKS NOTES:
- Delicious with grilled bread to soak up all the flavorful oil.
- Also makes a great pasta salad when tossed with some orzo or other pasta of your choice and then cooled.