Friday, August 23, 2013

Greek Gazpacho With Jalapeño Basil Oil And Crispy Grilled Shrimp

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So my husband said to me the other day, "hey, we haven't had gazpacho yet this summer". 
My first thought was, no problem, I have the whole rest of the summer to make gazpacho.
Um, wrong! We are in our last weeks of summer. What the wha??? How did that happen? 
We've had an extremely mild summer here in SoCal, so in a way, I don't even feel like we've really even had a summer at all. Seriously, I've been to the beach like once. But that could have more to do with my 12 month old unloading handfuls of sand into his mouth than it does the weather.
Anyway, back to the gazpacho. Ahem.

shrimp, gazpacho
 Little did my hubby know, but with his request for gazpacho, he was really letting me off the hook pretty easy for dinner. So needless to say, it didn't take much twisting of my arm to take this dinner idea and run with it.

This gazpacho comes together lickety split and is full of bold summery flavors. 
Since we like to kick things up a bit, I made a jalapeño basil oil to drizzle on top.
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Crispy, grilled shrimp serves as a perfect contrast to the cool flavors of this summery soup. 
Because it's totally mandatory to serve a protein with every meal, right?
grilled shrimp
This meal is so light, but so full of amazing flavors. 
Hurry up and make it before your hot summer days run out!
gazpacho, shrimp
 Greek Gazpacho With Jalapeno Basil Oil And Crispy Grilled Shrimp

For the Gazpacho:
2 thick slices of day old Italian bread, about 3 oz.
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
4 Tbsp red wine vinegar
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1 large hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded and chopped
4 large, ripe tomatoes (about 1 pound), chopped
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
3 cups tomato juice
3 tsp Kosher salt
2 tsp freshly ground pepper
8 oz feta cheese, diced 

Place the bread, garlic, parsley, and oregano in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely chopped.
Add vinegar and olive oil and process until fully combined.
Scrape into a large bowl.
Next, place both of the bell peppers in the bowl of the food processor and process until finely chopped. Add them to the bowl with the bread mixture.
Repeat with the red onion.
Ditto for the cucumber.
Same goes for the tomatoes.
Don't forget the olives!
Now you have a big bowl of yumminess!
Add the salt and pepper. Stir it all together, cover with foil, and refrigerate for at least a few hours. The longer this gazpacho sits, the better it tastes. I had it for lunch two days later and it was actually much more flavorful than it was the night we had it for dinner.

For the oil:
1 cup fresh basil leaves, loosely packed
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed and chopped
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp Kosher salt

Place all ingredients in a blender and mix until fully blended.

To serve, place gazpacho in a bowl and top with chunks of feta and a drizzle of oil.

For the shrimp:
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
freshly ground pepper

Place shrimp in a gallon sized freezer bag. Place the remaining ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Pour the marinade over the shrimp and allow to marinade for 15-30 minutes.
Heat grill to medium-high heat.
Using wooden skewers that have been soaked in water for 1 hour, skewer the shrimp. 
I find it easier to flip the shrimp once they are on the grill, if I use a double skewer technique (refer to above photos).
Spray the grill with non-stick spray, then place the skewers on the grill. Close the grill lid.
After about 2-3 minutes, flip the shrimp and allow to cook for 2-3 more minutes.
When they are done, they will be bright orange in color. 
Once done, remove shrimp from skewer using a fork to slide the shrimp down onto a plate.
Serve alongside gazpacho.

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