I was watching a cooking show on Food Network last weekend and saw Bobby Flay create a dish of grilled peaches with arugula pesto. It looked and sounded so delicious that I decided to create my own version and serve with grilled shrimp. The verdict? A MAZ ING.
The shrimp is marinated in a mixture of fresh lemon juice, olive oil, and spices then grilled until just cooked through. The peaches grill alongside the shrimp creating a caramelized top crust. My pesto is different from Bobby Flay's. Mine follows the steps of the classic but uses the spicy green arugula, a bit of basil, almonds, spices, Parmigiano-Reggiano and I added a touch of balsamic vinegar to sweeten and smooth the arugula's bite. Really good with the peaches and shrimp, the leftover pesto can be spread on roast beef or chicken sandwiches, topping pizza, stirred into steamed or grilled vegetables or thinned with additional olive oil and vinegar and used as a salad dressing. Enjoy for your Labor Day BBQ or anytime fresh peaches are in season.
Grilled Shrimp & Peaches with Arugula Pesto
8 oz medium shrimp, peel & deveined (tails on)
juice from 1 lemon
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for grill
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
2 medium ripe peaches (do not peel)
arugula pesto (recipe follows)
Place shrimp in medium bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, 1/4 cup olive oil, red pepper flakes and a pinch each salt and pepper. Pour over shrimp and allow to marinate a minimum of 1 hour.
Heat grill. Cut peaches in half and remove the pits. Drizzle olive oil over peaches. Thread shrimp on wooden or metal skewers. (If using wood, soak in water for 15 minutes prior to using to avoid burning)
Place peaches flesh side down on the grill. Place shrimp skewers on grill. Cook for 1 minute and flip skewers. Cook for another minute or two removing as soon as shrimp turn from gray to pink. Remove peaches and shrimp from the grill.
To serve, Place 2 grilled peach halves on each plate. Divide shrimp equally and fill peach centers with a scoop of arugula pesto. Serve additional pesto on the side.
1 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
5 oz baby arugula
1 cup fresh basil
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup sliced almonds (toasted)
3/4 to 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
freshly cracked black pepper
Place cheese in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until grated. Add arugula, basil, garlic and almonds and pulse for 30 seconds. With machine running, slowly pour in 1/2 cup olive oil and process until smooth. Add the balsamic vinegar, pepper flakes and a pinch each salt & pepper. With machine running, slowly add additional olive oil until you reach your desired consistency.
Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. To store, pour a thin layer of olive oil over the top of the pesto. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it into the top of the pesto. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
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