Wednesday, May 23, 2007

SPRING SUPPER (on a record breaking hot evening) ~ GRILLED SHRIMP SALAD with BASIL VINAIGRETTE

GARDENER'S NOTE: When planting basil in the herb garden, pinch tips to encourage growth then use in your favorite fresh basil recipe.

~ Friends in the wildflower garden
~ Fast, refreshing and easy supper for a summer-like spring evening
2 lbs. peeled large raw shrimp (fresh or thawed frozen)
1 1/2 lb. asparagus spears (or trimmed fresh green beans)
1/2 lb. crumbled cooked bacon
1 1/2 cup crumbled feta or shredded Parmesan cheese (reserve a bit for garnish)
3/4 cup toasted pine nuts (reserve a bit for garnish)
8 (12-inch) wooden skewers
Basil vinaigrette:
1/2 cup chopped fresh sweet basil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
4-6 minced shallots
3 cloves minced garlic
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. Lawry's Seasoned pepper
pinch of coarse salt
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Soak skewers in water while preparing salad.
  • Combine ingredients for Basil Vinaigrette, whisking in olive oil a bit at a time until blended.
  • Combine shrimp with 3/4 cup of vinaigrette in plastic bag and chill for 30 minutes, turning occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, blanch asparagus (or green beans) in boiling salted water for 4 minutes. Drain and plunge into ice water. Remove, pat dry and chill.
  • Remove shrimp from marinade and thread onto skewers.
  • Grill over medium-high with lid down for 2 minutes on each side or until shrimp turn pink. Remove from skewers and toss with asparagus (green beans), bacon, feta or Parmesan cheese, toasted pine nuts and remaining 3/4 cup Basil Vinaigrette. Sprinkle with additional cheese and toasted pine nuts. Serve on chilled plate surrounded by spring flowers from the garden.

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