Recently, we hosted a dinner party in which we featured one of our best talents: cooking shrimp perfectly- of course! Last summer, or fall actually, when the garden was reaching some of it’s last days, Greg whipped up some pesto and we froze several jars of it for occasions such as this. We did not want to be busy cooking when our guests arrived, so it was the perfect thing to use since it was already made.
First, check out the table scape complete with real dining room chairs! wahoo, we’re adults now!
For an appetizer we used our new cheese board to display four cheeses: parmesano reggiano, pecorino romano, some really sharp cheddar, and parano (my recent fave).
We also served a salad that if anything was Greek-esque: romaine, cucumber, tomato, feta and pine nuts.
Now on to the main event. Like I said we used some pre-made homemade pesto. When making pesto ahead of time, it is suggested that you add the cheese when you are ready to use it, versus adding the cheese before you freeze it.
The pesto as it dethawed:
and with a generous heap of cheese:
This thickens it up quite a bit and adds a ton of flavor.
The raw shrimp were peeled and placed in a casserole baking dish. The pesto went over top of the shrimp…
…and was thoroughly mixed in
Next, a layer of freshly grated cheese atop the scrimps.
Pine nuts! Whenever we make the trip to Pittsburgh, we always stock up on pine nuts. They are worth the price, but especially at the price Penn Mac sells them for! YUM.
This went into the oven and baked while we sampled the cheese and ate salad.
We topped it with fresh tomato once it was done baking and the shrimp were cooked through.
We had the romantic mood lighting going- sorry for the flashy picture!
We served it along side of some pasta… along side, not on top!
This was a key point Greg wanted me to stress. The dish is meant to stand alone and is not intended to be a pasta sauce per se, although it went quite well with the pasta.
This is the best picture I have of it– extreme closeup, ahh!
With the scent of basil in the air, this dish made me even more ready for summer! It was a crowd pleaser too, which is always good.
Recipe for Pesto Shrimp Bake
Recipe for our Simple Basil Pesto