Oh the joys of summer dieting….. said absolutely no one ever. The fact that last years shorts could easily be mistaken for a bikini bottom due to the increase in size of my tail wagon is not helping my current situation in any way, shape or form. If there was a non invasive method for stomach stapling (and if it were 100 percent free) I would probably sign up. As long as I could remove the staples for wine consumption. And maybe the occasional late night snack. And probably for my once a week cheat days. Okay make that twice a week. Perhaps thrice if I’m feeling like I really deserve it. But who are we kidding. I always deserve it 😉
What really would help is if we could flavor oxygen. That would take air dieting to a whole new level and probably solve all of my problems. And by all of my problems, I’m talking a good 5 percent of them. I’m pretty much SOL for the other 95. Womp womp.
So since edible oxygen just isn’t an option right now, I am big on seafood for keeping my meals a little lighter on the waistline while I overheat my life away. Cilantro Pesto Shrimp over Broiled Tomatoes is both flavorful and delicious, leaving my belly full and happy (and hopefully it will leave yours feeling the same).
I like to purchase my shrimp already peeled and deveined – tails on – for ease and quickness. However feel free to peel your own shrimp….. ain’tnobodygottimeforthat.
The cilantro + arugula + cotija cheese is key for this pesto. It definitely gives your average pesto a facelift and more of a bite than the usual basil + parmesan flavor. However if you can’t find cotija cheese (most stores carry it) then you may opt for parmesan.
The broiled tomatoes helps break up the sharp bite of the pesto and gives some nice texture change with every bite (I am a big texture person when it comes to all of my recipes).
I like to serve this with a baguette on the side if I’m making this as a main course. Great for ripping and dipping 😉
- 2 lb peeled & deveined shrimp (medium sized)
- 3 roma tomatoes, halved
- ¾ cup cilantro leaves
- 2½ cups arugula
- ⅓ cup olive oil + 2 tbsp
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- ¾ cup cotija cheese (shredded)
- 1 garlic clove (pressed)
- 1 lemon, halved
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- First what you'll want to do is fire up the grill for direct heat. Since you'll be grilling shrimp you'll either want to skewer them together to prevent shrimp drop offs OR use a grill pan made for the grill. I did the latter.
- Next while grill is heating up, set your oven to broil.
- In a baking dish (or any heat safe dish that you want to serve your shrimp in) add your roma tomatoes, cut side up. Drizzle with 1 tbsp of olive oil & salt and pepper.
- Broil tomatoes for 5-8 minutes until the top edges begin to darken. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Next in a food processor add your cilantro, 2½ cups arugula, ⅓ cup olive oil, pine nuts, cotija cheese & pressed garlic. Process until a chunky paste forms.
- Salt & Pepper to taste and process again until blended. Set aside.
- Now to get ready for the grilling. First rinse your shrimp and then pat dry (leaving tails on). In a large bowl add the shrimp & 1 tbsp of olive oil. Sprinkle a little salt & pepper and toss. If using skewers, skewer your shrimp here. Or set a grill pan on the grill over the direct heat.
- Next add your shrimp to grill over direct high heat and grill about 2½ minutes per side.
- Remove shrimp from grill and place in a large bowl. Squeeze a lemon half and pour ½ of your pesto to the bowl and toss.
- Add pesto shrimp to baking dish with broiled tomatoes. Pour a little more pesto on top of the dish and then the rest in a bowl for serving with an extra lemon half for optional drizzle.