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Shrimp recipes - Grilled Shrimp Skewers with Pesto Sauce and Pernod

Updated on April 21, 2016
Kaili Bisson profile image

Kaili loves to cook—from comfort food to fine cuisine—and was the recipient of a silver medal in a food and wine matching competition.

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5 stars from 2 ratings of Shrimp Skewers with Pesto and Pernod

Shrimp are marinated in pesto sauce and Pernod and then grilled on the bbq

Perfect bbq shrimp. This shrimp recipe goes really well with simple pasta dishes and summer salads.
Perfect bbq shrimp. This shrimp recipe goes really well with simple pasta dishes and summer salads. | Source

Imagine the perfect crunch of shrimp grilled on the bbq

This shrimp recipe is so easy to prepare and so tasty you will want to have it two nights in a row. Made with pesto sauce with a splash of Pernod added to give it a wonderful, slightly licorice flavor, this shrimp recipe requires very little preparation time.

It is among my favorite shrimp recipes, and a main feature around here during bbq season.

Ready? Let's get cooking...

What is Pernod? Is Pernod a liqueur?

Pernod is a brand of liqueur from France that is made with star anise, herbs and aromatic plants. It has a very distinctive licorice flavor that goes extremely well with shellfish and other fish dishes.

Other countries, including Greece and Spain, make their own variations on this licorice liqueur. If you don't have any Pernod on hand, try substituting some ouzo or even sambuca in the recipe.

Preparation time and cook time

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 10 min
Ready in: 20 min
Yields: Serves two people 1/2 pound of shrimp each

Assemble your ingredients: Shrimp, pesto sauce, olive oil and Pernod are all you need to create this dish

Just a few simple ingredients go into this shrimp recipe: shrimp, olive oil, Pernod and pesto sauce. If you don't have Pernod on hand, try some ouzo or even sambuca instead.
Just a few simple ingredients go into this shrimp recipe: shrimp, olive oil, Pernod and pesto sauce. If you don't have Pernod on hand, try some ouzo or even sambuca instead. | Source

Ingredients

  • 1 pound shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1/2 cup pesto sauce
  • 3 Tbsp Pernod
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

Marinated shrimp ready to be grilled

Let the shrimp marinate in the pesto and Pernod mixture for a couple of hours if you can. This will really enhance the flavor.
Let the shrimp marinate in the pesto and Pernod mixture for a couple of hours if you can. This will really enhance the flavor. | Source
Turn the skewers about every 2 minutes and paste with more of the pesto Pernod sauce.
Turn the skewers about every 2 minutes and paste with more of the pesto Pernod sauce. | Source
Done! The shrimp should be a little golden brown in color...about 10 minutes should do it.
Done! The shrimp should be a little golden brown in color...about 10 minutes should do it. | Source

Step-by-step instructions

  1. If you are using fresh shrimp, shell and devein them. Place shrimp in a colander and rinse them well under cold running water. **NOTE: If you are using frozen deveined shrimp and forgot to take them out of the freezer, don’t worry. Simply run them under cold running water for a few minutes and then remove shells. You can also buy fresh shrimp already shelled and deveined from your local fish store.
  2. Add ½ cup pesto sauce to a mixing bowl. **NOTE: The recipe illustrated here was prepared with store-bought pesto sauce, but you can use your own homemade sauce if you have some handy.
  3. Stir in the Pernod and the olive oil until well blended.
  4. Add the shrimp and stir to coat them completely. If the mixture is a little runny, add more pesto (see Tips below). You want it to adhere to the shrimp.
  5. You can now put the bowl of shrimp in the fridge for a couple of hours to marinate if you have the time. If not, proceed to the next step. We understand if you're in a hurry.
  6. Get your grill ready. If you are using a gas grill, preheat it to about 500°F and then turn it down to about 425°F. If using charcoal, wait until the coals are gray.
  7. Push the shrimp one-by-one onto bbq-safe skewers.
  8. Place the skewers on the bbq, and baste them with the pesto mixture that remains at the bottom of the bowl. Turn the skewers about every 2 minutes, basting after each turn. The shrimp should be done in about 10 minutes. Larger 'jumbo' shrimp or scampi may take another minute or so.
  9. Enjoy!

Tips for making this fabulous grilled shrimp recipe

  1. If you have time to marinate the shrimp ahead of time, you will find that this enhances both the texture and the flavor of the shrimp. Suggested time is two hours, but marinating is not absolutely necessary.
  2. Put a little oil on the rack on your grill or use a vegetable spray for the grill before lighting it. This will make cleanup easier.
  3. The pesto and Pernod mixture should be thick enough to stick to the shrimp and not simply run off. The amounts shown in the ingredients may have to be adjusted somewhat depending on how large your shrimp are and how thick your pesto sauce is to begin with. If the pesto Pernod sauce is too thin after adding the oil and Pernod, simply add another tablespoon or two of pesto. If it is too thick, add a touch more Pernod first, then a little more oil if necessary.
  4. Once the first shrimps are on a skewer, place them over a foil roasting pan or tray to catch the drips while you assemble the other skewers.
  5. Save the pesto and Pernod mixture for basting the shrimp while they are on the barbeque.
  6. The shrimp cook best with the barbeque lid partially down between basting. If you don’t have a lid on your barbeque that allows you to do this, try sticking a small fire log in to hold the lid open a few inches. Be careful with the log after grilling as it is very hot. Place it on a patio stone, or better yet, in a bucket of water when you are done.

Go bold...Zinfandel works very well with this grilled shrimp dish

Zinfandel is a big fruit-forward wine that goes extremely well with this dish.
Zinfandel is a big fruit-forward wine that goes extremely well with this dish. | Source

Red wine with shrimp? Really?

Yes, red wine! Don’t think you should only have white wine with shrimp. This shrimp and pesto recipe has a wonderful grilled flavor with a hint of licorice that stands up nicely to red wine. Try a California Zinfandel, which is a perfect match for this shrimp recipe.

Seghesio Vineyards from Sonoma County makes wonderful Zinfandel. Their wines have lovely red and black berry flavors with a dash of spiciness and pepper, and a fabulous body and mouthfeel. The spice and black fruit in the wine brings out the Pernod in the shrimp. A perfect match!

Shrimp is high in protein

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/2 pound shrimp
Calories 240
Calories from Fat36
% Daily Value *
Fat 4 g6%
Carbohydrates 2 g1%
Fiber 1 g4%
Protein 46 g92%
Sodium 336 mg14%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Comments

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    • Kaili Bisson profile image
      Author

      Kaili Bisson 5 years ago from Canada

      Hello catgypsy. You are so welcome! It is a really great combination, especially done on the grill.

    • catgypsy profile image

      catgypsy 5 years ago from the South

      Sounds delicious...I love both shrimp and pesto and never thought of combining them in this way. Thanks for the great recipe!

    • Kaili Bisson profile image
      Author

      Kaili Bisson 5 years ago from Canada

      Hi Simone and thank you for the nice words about the pics :-) Pesto and shrimp is so good together, especially done on the bbq.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      I've never seen shrimp served with pesto, but I bet it's delicious! Thanks for the recipe- and gorgeous photos, BTW!

    • LetitiaFT profile image

      LetitiaFT 5 years ago from Paris via California

      Looking forward to those other pernod dishes! And that's a good question about the winter cooking contest. I was wondering that myself!

    • Kaili Bisson profile image
      Author

      Kaili Bisson 5 years ago from Canada

      Hi Green Lotus, yup and lots of protein. I have a couple of other Pernod recipes that are more winter dishes than summer...is there a recipe contest in the winter? :-)

    • Kaili Bisson profile image
      Author

      Kaili Bisson 5 years ago from Canada

      Hi Om, they go beautifully together. I am always on the lookout for fish recipes that I can serve red wine with.

    • Kaili Bisson profile image
      Author

      Kaili Bisson 5 years ago from Canada

      Hi Letitia, please give it a try and let me know what you think. The Pernod gives it just a hint of lovely anise :-)

    • Green Lotus profile image

      Hillary 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Wow and it's low carb too! Yummy. Thanks! I never thought of cooking with Pernod before.

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago

      Very lovely! I can easily imagine how red wine would go wonderfully with these pesto shrimp!

    • LetitiaFT profile image

      LetitiaFT 5 years ago from Paris via California

      Another great flavor combo! I can definitely taste the shrimp with pesto with all the garlic it contains, the pernod is the real surprise! Must try this...

    • Kaili Bisson profile image
      Author

      Kaili Bisson 5 years ago from Canada

      Hi Koffee and thank you. Please try it and let me know if you like it. This is one of our summer faves.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Oh yes, guess what's for dinner tomorrow night. Up and awesome.

    • Kaili Bisson profile image
      Author

      Kaili Bisson 5 years ago from Canada

      Thank you teaches! Pesto is one of my favorite food groups :-)

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      This looks so elegant and your recipe is divine! Shrimp and pesto is one of my favorite flavors mingled in a dish.

    • Kaili Bisson profile image
      Author

      Kaili Bisson 5 years ago from Canada

      Thank you aviannovice. We had this for dinner last night and the kitchen still smells like yummy pesto!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      This looks like another good one.

    • Kaili Bisson profile image
      Author

      Kaili Bisson 5 years ago from Canada

      Thank you beaddve1800 from Toronto! Give it a try and let me know what you think!

    • beaddve1800 profile image

      beaddve1800 5 years ago from Toronto

      Cool recipe! Shared :)