Cilantro Pesto Grilled Shrimp

Spring is in the air my friends. The days of sunshine, long walks, iced coffee and grilling out have arrived and I could not be happier. We bought a grill shortly after we got married last summer and have used it so much. We love to grill out and eat on our front porch. a few weeks back we tried grilling shrimp that had marinated all day in a homemade cilantro and spinach pesto. We also grilled asparagus and I made creamy garlic Parmesan shells to go with everything. We piled our plates high with the pasta and each had a couple skewers of the succulent shrimp. We laid down a blanket on the porch and lit our homemade "tiki lamp" (a mason jar filled with tiki torch fluid and a giant wick that we made awhile back) and we had a little porch picnic dinner. I love that making food is something I can share with others...food means something. 

I love this quote, "God never meant man to be purely a spiritual creature. That is why He uses material things like bread and wine to put new life into us. We may think this rather crude and unspiritual. God does not: He invented eating. He likes matter. He invented it." C.S. Lewis, "Mere Christianity"

This is beautiful to me. The Lord is pleased when we use his creation to feed others and to be fed ourselves. So lately I have found fresh inspiration in food. Fresh food, not cans, and bottles, and packages...but fresh ingredients. So in steps this recipe, Cilantro Pesto Grilled Shrimp.




Cilantro Pesto:
1 bunch of fresh cilantro
1 cup of packed fresh spinach
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
zest of one lemon
juice of half a lemon
1/2 cup of olive oil

In a food processor add cilantro, spinach, grated cheese, garlic, pine nuts, lemon zest and lemon juice. Pulse to combine. Add salt and pepper. Pulse once or twice. Slowly pour olive oil into the mixture while pulsing continually. Pulse until combined. Store in an airtight container. 

This pesto could be used on anything; pasta, sandwiches, pizza...it does not have an overly strong cilantro taste believe it or not. The lemon juice and zest as well as the spinach really mellow out the overall flavor. 

For Grilled Shrimp:
Take thawed shrimp, that has shells and veins removed, toss in 3/4 of the pesto mixture. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least one hour. The longer the better. Soak skewers in water if they are made of wood. Add shrimp to skewers. Cook on a medium high grill for 10 minutes turning every 3-4 minutes. Baste the shrimp with remaining pesto, or pour remaining on top of the shrimp once served. 

This is a super versatile recipe that could be used with almost any type of meat. The pesto could also be made with many different herbs, like parsley, or the traditional basil pesto. 

Have you ever made your own pesto? It is the best!

I am headed to Memphis for the weekend to celebrate a special bride to be that was a dear friend in college. I am super pumped about this whole weekend. We are going on a riverboat dinner cruise tonight which should be a blast! Then tomorrow I am meeting up with the precious Lauren of Sincerely, Lo for some coffee! Eek cannot wait! What plans do you have for this weekend? 


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