My daughter Nicole is home for spring break, and her friend Katie has come along to visit. So last night I made one of her favorite meals for dinner, Pesto Shrimp. All the kids were quite excited when they sat down at the table, exclaiming that this was all four of their favorite dinners. Family dinners are a favorite time of the day for me. I just love having everyone talking, laughing, and sharing their day together.
Pesto Shrimp served with Angel Hair Pasta
I must admit, I have made this meal so many times that I do not use the recipe anymore. I did pull out my original recipe and posted it below. But I have changed and adapted my pesto. I start with a big bunch of fresh basil (about 4 oz.) and add about 4 big stems of fresh mint. I love the addition of mint in my basil, but I put in just enough that it gives the flavor a bit of pop, but you can’t actually distinguish the taste of mint.
We love parmesan cheese, so I add a lot more – at least one cup of shredded parmesan.
I toast about 3/4 cup of pine nuts.
I put the basil, mint, pine nuts, cheese, about 4 cloves of garlic into the food processor and start drizzling the olive oil in. I continue to add olive oil while the food processor is running, until I like the consistency. Stopping the machine to scrape down the sides as needed. I add salt and pepper to taste and even last night threw in an extra clove of garlic. That’s how I make my pesto – it is quick to put together and, my kids can always tell mine apart from store bought and other homemade versions. I think it’s the addition of mint – that is my secret ingredient.
I clean the shrimp and toss it with olive oil, salt and pepper.
I saute it in batches. It cooks really quickly!
Once all the shrimp is cooked, I toss in the pesto and mix it together until all the shrimp is coated. It looks like a lot of pesto, but this shrimp is served on top of angel hair pasta and the pesto then mixes in with the pasta. I used to mix it all together, but it’s easier to serve separately. When I mixed it, everyone was always trying to pick put the shrimp to make sure they got their fair amount. They do love it!
I serve the extra pesto along side, and of course I always extra Parmesan cheese!
Jumbo Shrimp with Basil and Mint Pesto
3/4 cups lightly packed fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds uncooked jumbo shrimp, peeled and de-veined
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Blend the mint, basil, pine nuts, and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. With the machine running, gradually add 1/4 cup of olive oil, processing until well blended. Transfer the pesto to a medium bowl. Stir in the Parmesan. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.Toss the shrimp with the extra-virgin olive oil in a large bowl to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss again.Heat a heavy large skillet over high heat. Working in 2 batches, add the shrimp and saute until just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Toss the shrimp with enough pesto to coat.
Transfer the shrimp to a platter and serve.
The girls last night. It is always a fun time having kids home from break, and I love that they bring friends home along with them,