Easy bite-size shrimps on skewers are grilled until they are lightly brown, then topped with a fresh pesto sauce made with arugula and walnuts. So good, the arugula-walnut pesto is what enhances the flavors of the grilled shrimp making these the best tasting shrimp kabobs! And, it makes a terrific appetizer to serve your guests on any weekend!
When we have friends over, we like to have at least one fun finger-food appetizer that we can prepare, grill and have it ready just before everyone arrives. I love this recipe because I can prepare the arugula-walnut pesto sauce early in the morning, then grill the shrimp later in the day.
The arugula-walnut pesto sauce is made with fresh arugula, basil, walnuts, olive oil, garlic and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. It was so good, I couldn't stop licking my spoon.
Though these shrimp kabobs were bite-sized, they were perfect to complete a full platter, enough for our everyone to have more than one kabob before dinner. The shrimp kabobs are equally good served hot, room temperature or even cold. Just chill them after they're grilled and serve with the arugula-walnut pesto spread on top. Don't forget to leave some extra in a small bowl for dipping!
Here's a tip: Best to keep unused pesto stored in the refrigerator for up to one week, or frozen up to two months. Make sure you drizzle a small layer of olive oil over the top surface to prevent discoloration and seal tightly.
Nutritional facts for pesto sauce: ( per 2 Tbsp. serving): 90 calories, 10g fat, 1.5g saturated fats, 0mg cholesterol, 2g protein, 1g carbs, 0g sugar.
Grilled Shrimp Kabobs with Arugula-Walnut Pesto
- 1 pound small or medium size fresh shrimp-cleaned, peeled, deveined
- 3 cups arugula- rinsed, stems removed
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, firmly packed
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- fresh cracked black pepper
- 3/4 cup walnut halves
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra
- 1 lemon juiced -divided
- 8 inch skewers
- organic cooking spray, for grill
Rinse shrimp under cold water and drain.
Season shrimp lightly with salt and pepper. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over them.
Thread shrimp onto skewers, about 3 shrimps per skewer.
Heat and spray a non-stick grill pan with cooking spray.
Grill shrimp kabobs for about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Add a squeeze of lemon juice over them while grilling. When shrimp is cooked, transfer to a serving platter.
For the Pesto Sauce:
Place the arugula, basil leaves, garlic and 1/4 teaspoon of salt into blender or a food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped, scraping down the sides of bowl as needed.
Add the nuts and parmesan cheese and pulse three to four times, until all ingredients are well combined. With machine running on low speed, slowly stream in the oil until desired consistency is reached. It should resemble a loose paste.
Stir in 1 to 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice. Best made the same day serving.
Lightly spoon or brush pesto sauce over the shrimp kabobs. Serve.
Refrigerate any remaining unused pesto sauce.
Yields: 2 cups pesto sauce and approx. 14 to 16 kabobs
Recipe adapted from House Calls Magazine Summer 2013
Thanks for stopping by!
Warmly, Anna and Liz