May 6, 2014

Zesty Grilled Shrimp and Vegetables

Even though it has been a remarkably warm winter here in Southern California, the immanent arrival of summer inspires one to think about grilling more frequently. This flavorful grilled shrimp is super easy to prepare and would be fantastic to serve for a small family dinner or a large crowd.

I wish I had more to share with you as I know that I have been once again remiss in frequent posting, but I have been relatively uninspired lately in the kitchen. I have been quite successful in remaining gluten-free for nearly 2 months. But along with the dietary restrictions, I have been trying to avoid sugars in any form other than fruit as well as limiting grains and legumes in an attempt to lose a few pounds. I have been eating oodles of green vegetables, snacking on fresh red peppers and daikon radish, and nibbling berries, apples, and dehydrated banana chips to satisfy my sweet tooth. Although my diet has been clean and healthy it has been fairly uninteresting. Needless to say I have not been experimenting with gluten-free baking or cooking much as breads, pastas, legumes, grains, and nuts have not been a big part of my life lately.

I was talking with a friend of mine earlier today who was giving me a hard time about not posting much lately. She made a point of telling me that even when I think my recipes are dull and uninteresting, other people might feel completely different. In fact, she said that my readers would probably appreciate my sharing the recipes of what I put together for myself when I am on a diet. That being said, I will do my best to share some the recipes I come up with, even if they are boring, as I continue on my path to a leaner me.

Zesty Grilled Shrimp

Serves 4

1 1/2 pounds medium-large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red chili pepper
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves, roughly chopped
1/3 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, zest - reserve juice for just before grilling
1/4 cup olive oil

Grilled Vegetables

Use any of the following. Keep in mind that the vegetables will shrink a bit in size during cooking.

  sweet onion
  red, yellow, or orange peppers
  yellow squash


If you intend to skewer the shrimp, soak the wooden skewers in a pan of water for at least 4 hours. If you will also be making vegetables on the skewers, be sure to soak enough to accommodate your needs.

Combine the minced garlic, crushed red peppers, tarragon, salt, pepper, and lemon zest in a medium-large size bowl. Use a spoon to mix the marinade together.

Add the cleaned shrimp to the marinade and gently stir to coat all of them. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3-8 hours.

About an hour prior to cooking or grilling, remove from the refrigerator and squeeze the reserved juice of 1 lemon over the shrimp. Stir or toss to incorporate.

If you are using the skewers, carefully pierce each shrimp from the widest part of the tail through to the smallest as I have done in the photos here which will allow them to cook evenly. You should be able to fit 4-6 shrimp onto each skewer.

Cut the vegetables into 1-1 1/2 inch chunks. Alternate them on the skewers in a pattern such as onion-pepper-onion or mushroom-zucchini-mushroom. If you do not want to be bothered with cutting and skewering the vegetables, they will be just as good sliced and grilled with a sprinkling of lemon juice and sea salt.

Heat the grill to medium heat.

If you are grilling vegetables, start them at least 15 minutes before the shrimp. The shrimp will only take a few minutes to cook so they should be the last thing you do.

Lay the skewered shrimp onto the grill. Cook on each side for about 3 minutes or until the side being grilled starts to turn pink. It is best to pull them off the grill before they begin to curl.

Please note that the shrimp pictured here is a bit more cooked than I would consider optimal.

Serve immediately.

If you do not have a grill, use a stove top grill pan. If that is something you do not have either, roast the vegetables and broil the shrimp in the oven.

Categories: Fish and Seafood

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