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Author Notes: Everybody loves fresh grilled shrimp right off the barbie! My homemade pistachio pesto takes this delicacy to the next level with an explosion of textures and flavor. —Lynda Marren
Food52 Review: This is quite possibly the most perfect summer dish—quick, easy, light, and possible to cook outdoors on a grill. Brining the shrimp kept them well-seasoned, and the pistachio pesto is unique and flavorful. I especially loved the smoky chipotle. My only wish was that there was more pesto. After the shrimp were cooked, it got a little lost. Next time, I will make a double batch for the same amount of shrimp and save half for post-grill dipping. —Megan
Serves 6 people
For the shrimp and dry brine:
- 2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined, tail on, butterflied
- 1/2 cup kosher salt, divided
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
For the pistachio pesto:
- 3/4 cup pistachios
- 2 lemons, juiced
- 1/2 chipotle pepper with adobo sauce, chopped
- 1/2 cup Italian parsley, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- To make shrimp and brine: Place shrimp in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix together the salt, sugar, and red pepper flakes. Sprinkle over shrimp and toss with hands to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and leave shrimp on counter for 1 hour to bring to room temperature.
- To make the pistachio pesto: Toast pistachios in dry pan on medium heat until golden brown. Set pistachios on a cutting board to cool. (If you place pistachios in a bowl while they are hot, they will steam and not stay crunchy.)
- In a medium bowl, place lemon juice, chipotle chile, Italian parsley, basil, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. Add olive oil and whisk well.
- Transfer to a food processor and pulse until mixture comes together. Add pistachios and blend for 30 seconds to make a thick pesto. Transfer to a bowl.
- Rinse brine off shrimp and pat dry completely. Place shrimp in bowl with pesto and toss well.
- Grease grill lightly with olive oil, then turn heat to medium-high. Set shrimp on grill and leave for 1 minute to obtain grill marks. As the shrimp grill, toss them and brush on additional pistachio pesto. For tender shrimp, grill only 3 to 4 minutes.
- Note: Serve shrimp as a hors d'oeuvres or with a tossed salad and creamy polenta as a main course.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe for the Shore