So, we got a new barbecue!
You’ll want to pay attention this summer if you’re looking to up your grilling game. I’ll be grilling damn near everything.
Like roasting in the winter, summer grilling brings our the best in so many foods. This post-pardum sweet tooth is still kicking around too, so I’ll take a little caramelization anytime.
Seafood has a fresh, sweet flavour to begin with. Adding a few grill marks to a nice sweet juicy shrimp makes it even better.
Now a note on packaged frozen shrimp. If you’re a regular reader, you know I often advocate for smart seafood choices. We have essentially fished our oceans into extinction and if we don’t take serious steps to reverse the damage we’ve done by over-fishing, we may reach a point (in MY lifetime) that wild fish and seafood is simply no longer available. In addition to that, you can read this article published last year about the plight of workers aboard thai fishing vessels. It might break your heart, but it’s important information that may change the way you use your buying power. Part of the solution is improved fishing practices to be sure, but part of it must also be aquaculture. Think agriculture, in the water. Farmed fish and seafood. It’s not ‘weird’. It’s not ‘unnatural’. We already farm the vast majority of animal protein we eat. If the world lived on wild game meat, there wouldn’t be nearly enough to go around and we would cause mass extinctions. The same thing is happening in the oceans right now.
I am certainly no expert in aquaculture, but I do know I want my farmed fish to be raised in a socially responsible and environmentally sustainable manner, just as I want my wild caught seafood to be.
Big grocers and restaurants are catching on. They are working with non-for-profits like Ocean Wise, Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) to put more responsibly caught/rasied seafood on store shelves. Look for their symbols when purchasing fish, or ask your fish monger about the source of your purchase.
Ok, mini rant over.
SAVE THE OCEANS!
K, really done now.
Back to biz. This is my marinade. I used it more as a sauce then a marinade, since marinading seafood in any any acid too long toughens the final product.
Don’t forget to soak your skewers for a half hour or so. No one likes a fire. I don’t make mention of the little oniony looking things on the left because I didn’t use them in the recipe. They’re ramps, otherwise known as wild leeks. They have a short spring season and they came in my produce box this week. They taste like a very mild leek. I’ve grilled them for use in a recipe later this week!
Get all your ducks in a row before you hit the grill with the shrimp and tomatoes. They take a quick 2 minutes per side. Any longer and your shrimp will take on that rubbery over-cooked texture and your tomatoes will fall off the skewers!
While there are a few separate components to this recipe, they’re all very simple and quick. And substitutions? I can think of about 6 billion off the top of my head. Shrimp could be chicken or tofu, grain could be barley or quinoa, cheese could be goat or fresh mozzarella, and any leafy green would do. Use a bottled salad dressing if you must, or just drizzle lemon juice or balsamic vinegar over the whole thing.
Whatever you do, fire up that damn barbecue.
Garlic and Lemon Grilled Shrimp and Orzo Salad
- 1lb 21-30 count shrimp (peeled and deveined)
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon salt (divided)
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper (divided)
- 3 cups cooked orzo pasta
- 75g feta cheese (about ⅓ cup crumbled)
- 6 cups washed salad greens
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon liquid honey
||Preheat barbecue to high heat (450-500F) for 10 minutes. |
||For the shrimp marinade: In a small bowl, combine olive oil, garlic, lemon zest and juice, ½ tsp of salt and ¼ tsp pepper. |
||Skewer shrimp alternating head to tail and push them together so they're snug (this will keep them moist). Pat dry with a paper towel on both sides. Brush shrimp on each side with a generous portion of marinade. |
||Skewer tomatoes, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with remaining salt and pepper. |
||Over direct high heat on an oiled grill, grill shrimp and tomatoes for 2 minutes per side. Close barbecue lid other than to flip. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. |
||In a small bowl, combine ingredients for dressing. In a separate bowl, combine orzo and feta. Add ⅔ of salad dressing to orzo, reserving the remainder to drizzle over completed salad. |
||Arrange greens on a platter, top with orzo mixture, grilled tomatoes and shrimp. Drizzle with remaining dressing and garnish with additional feta and lemon wedges if desired. |