Grilled Mediterranean Shrimp Cocktail

Let me walk you through my perfect Saturday morning.

  1. First of all, I hopefully remembered to turn the alarm off so we can sleep in.   “Sleeping in” means getting  up around 7:30 or 8:00.
  2. I roll out of bed and retrieve the three or four days’ worth of newspapers off the front step.  (I am usually that far behind in my reading.)
  3. The Hubs makes coffee (and sometimes breakfast).
  4. I read the papers and drink coffee.
  5. Finally, before we plan the day we usually watch at least one DVRed show.  (Is DVR a verb?   It is now.)

Some of these shows that we only watch on Saturday or Sunday morning include NOVA, Nature, or Primal Grill.   (Do you see a PBS theme here?)

One weekend we watched the “Shell Game” episode from Primal Grill and were truly inspired.   This episode featured grilled lobster, grilled oysters (YUM), and grilled shrimp.   Although it was hard not to pick up all three (lobster, oysters and shrimp) at the seafood market, we decided that the shrimp recipe would be our first try.

For the original recipe, click here.

Our rendition of this delicious dish is below.  First make the salsa.

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This salsa contains tarragon, an unexpected flavor. I snipped this batch from the garden.

Mediterranean Salsa for Shrimp Cocktail

4 Roma tomatoes, diced (about 2 cups)
1 small red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, finly minced
16 kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
2 T. small brined capers, drained and rinsed
1 T. fresh tarragon, minced
1/4 c.  good quality extra-virgin olive oil
1 T. fresh lemon juice (or more to taste)
Coarse sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

In a small mixing bowl, gently toss all ingredients.   Let sit at room temperature while shrimp is prepared and cooked.

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Now, make the marinade and let the shrimp swim around in it a bit.  Then, grill those suckers!

Grilled Shrimp for Mediterranean Cocktail

1 lb. large gulf shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 1/2 T. coarse sea salt
1 T. cracked black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. fresh tarragon, finely minced
2 t. lemon zest
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil
Bamboo skewers, soaked

Rinse the shrimp under cold running water, then blot dry with paper towels.

Make the marinade:  place the salt, pepper, garlic, tarragon, lemon zest, juice, and olive oil in a mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Let the shrimp marinate in the refrigerator, covered, for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Prepare the grill for direct grilling and preheat to 400 degrees.

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It was pretty dark by the time we got them on the grill.

Skewer the shrimp.   Use two skewers per kabob so shrimp will be easier to turn.  Cook until just pinkish white (the shrimp will feel firm to the touch), about 2 to 4 minutes per side.

Place a serving of salsa in large martini or margarita glasses.   Top with a skewer of shrimp.


This is a big surprise for you, dear reader, correct?   I think that I have posted only one seafood recipe and that was Fish Taco Salads way back in 2011.  (Wait, I did post an octopus recipe, but that was from a cooking class—I’ve never attempted it.)

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I absolutely loved this dish.   I loved the bite the capers and the kalamata olives gave to the salsa and I really thought the tarragon was a nice (and unexpected) addition.

The Hubs, however, was not a tarragon fan.  Although he liked the dish, he wondered if I might use thyme or parsley the next time we whip this up.

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Primal Grill inspired us.   We are prepared to make grilled lobster with ginger-mint butter, Drunken Sailors (tequila soaked grilled oysters) and other recipes inspired by this single episode.

I love lazy Saturday mornings that extend to a beautiful grilled meal on the patio.



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