Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club

Grilled Shrimp with Deconstructed Pesto After-Marinade

Grilled Shrimp with Deconstructed Pesto After-Marinade

We’ve been known to marinate shrimp before grilling, but giving the already-grilled shrimp a romp in this flavorful marinade is pure genius. (We’re grateful to longtime Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club member Steven Raichlen for the idea.) It’s equally good with scallops. 


For the shrimp:

  • 2 pounds jumbo shrimp or prawns, peeled and deveined
  • Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Hot red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 

For the deconstructed pesto after-marinade: 

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil plus 3 tablespoons, divided use
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Finely grated zest and juice of l lemon
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 


Step 1

Prepare the pesto after-marinade: Place half the olive oil (1/4 cup) in a small saucepan and heat over a medium flame. Add the pine nuts and garlic and fry until golden, 2 minutes. Do not let the garlic chips burn. Pour the mixture into a large heatproof mixing bowl. Stir in the lemon zest and juice and the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil. Set the cheese in a small bowl. Right before serving, stack and roll the basil leaves (work in batches), and thinly slice crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide ribbons. 

Step 2

Generously season the shrimp on all sides with salt, pepper, and hot red pepper flakes, if using. Toss with the olive oil. If grilling large shrimp, you can arrange them directly on the grill. For smaller shrimp, use a grill grid or grilling basket, or thread them on bamboo or metal skewers. (It’s easier to turn 5 kebabs on the grill than it is 30 small shrimp.) 

Step 3

Set up your grill for direct grilling and heat to high. Brush and oil your grill grate. 

Step 4

Arrange the shrimp on the grate and grill until sizzling and browned on the outside and cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. 

Step 5

Stir the hot shrimp into the pine nut-garlic-lemon mixture in the large bowl and toss to mix. Add the slivered basil and toss. Stir in the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil. Transfer the hot shrimp to a platter or plates and sprinkle with the cheese. 

Serves 4Recipe courtesy of Steven Raichlen, host of Project Fire