Pesto takes this classic Southern fare to the next level. Of course browned butter never hurts anything either! To reflect the pesto once again I whisked some additional pesto into the browned butter and the flavor combo was divine. You can buy pesto or make your own – my recipe can be found here: Pesto Recipe
Of course the Pesto Roasted Shrimp would be great as an appetizer, on tartine, and/or in any pasta or other dish. Warm creamy grits is also a nice compliment though and I couldn’t resist the idea once pesto-infused brown butter entered my mind. It’s flavorful and entertain worthy.
PESTO ROASTED SHRIMP
- 2 lb shrimp (12 – 15 count), shell-on and de-veined
- 1/4 cup pesto
- 1 – 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt & pepper
BROWN BUTTER PESTO SAUCE
- 2 sticks butter
- 1/4 cup pesto
serves 4 – 5
- 1 cup 5-minutes grits
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups half and half
- 1/4 cup cream cheese
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup heavy cream,
depending on desired thickness
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- pepper to taste
Pesto Roasted Shrimp – Preheat oven to 400 degrees, rack in upper third of oven. Line a large baking sheet with foil. Toss shrimp with oil, pesto, and sprinkle with s+p and spread out into an even layer. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until opaque and “pink-orange” and no longer gray.
Creamy Grits – Add water, half & half, and 1/4 cup of heavy cream to a medium-large saucepan (reserving 1/4 cup heavy cream to thin later if desired); bring to boil. Slowly add grits, while whisking. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes; stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, stir in butter, cream cheese, salt, and pepper. If grits are too thick whisk in heavy cream until desired thickness is reached (or stock or water…). Keep covered off heat until ready to serve. Best served immediately.
IN ANOTHER PAN START YOUR BROWN BUTTER SAUCE:
Brown Butter Pesto Sauce – In a medium-large skillet over medium heat, melt butter (cutting down into pats will promote more even cooking). Whisk butter frequently while cooking. It will go through stages: melt; foaming; browning and some separation which appears as brown speckling in bottom of pan; at this point it will begin to smell nutty and brown quickly REMOVE FROM HEAT and keep whisking. You want a golden to medium brown, not black! And it can go that way in a jiffy. Set butter aside to cool slightly for 2 – 3 minutes and then stir in pesto. WARNING it might bubble up on you so be ready to whisk and prevent burning. Set aside to arrange your dish, keep warm by covering if necessary.
Arrange: Peel shrimp, if desired; plate grits; top with shrimp; and ladle on brown butter pesto sauce – SERVE WARM with crusty bread and good wine.
Every bite sings with pesto, brown butter, shrimp, and it’s all balanced out with creamy, hearty grits. We ate the rest of the shrimp cold with crusty bread – both ways were great!
Bon Appetite Y’all,