Shrimp recipes - Grilled Shrimp Skewers with Pesto Sauce and Pernod
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Shrimp are marinated in pesto sauce and Pernod and then grilled on the bbq
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
Assemble your ingredients: Shrimp, pesto sauce, olive oil and Pernod are all you need to create this dish
- 1 pound shrimp, shelled and deveined
- 1/2 cup pesto sauce
- 3 Tbsp Pernod
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
Marinated shrimp ready to be grilled
- 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.
- 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.
- Stir in the Pernod and the olive oil until well blended.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Push the shrimp one-by-one onto bbq-safe skewers.
- 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.
Tips for making this fabulous grilled shrimp recipe
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Save the pesto and Pernod mixture for basting the shrimp while they are on the barbeque.
- 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
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
|Serving size: 1/2 pound shrimp|
|Calories from Fat||36|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 4 g||6%|
|Carbohydrates 2 g||1%|
|Fiber 1 g||4%|
|Protein 46 g||92%|
|Sodium 336 mg||14%|
|* 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.|