Now that my Tuscan Blue rosemary bushes are big, I trim long sprigs and soak them in water to use for skewers of grilled shrimp wrapped with prosciutto. A perfect alfresco dinner as summer nears the end.
Long associated with Mediterranean cuisine, the strong, piney fragrance of rosemary is unmistakeable. It grows everywhere in California. When we re-landscaped, I told the architect I wanted plenty of rosemary in the plan and she obliged. Besides being great for landscaping (because its drought tolerant), it smells wonderful in the yard and is always ready for culinary needs.
We’ve just celebrated the fifth anniversary of our big remodel. Hard to believe it was five years ago we tore out the kitchen to the studs and built the wonderful playground I get to call my kitchen. I smile every time I walk into it. That’s good, because like many of you I practically live there.
During those 13 weeks we survived with just a microwave, a few electrical appliances, an outside grill and a sink in our laundry-room-turned-galley. We ate well, rarely resorting to eating out or takeout. It’s then I learned that almost anything can be grilled.
Besides the usual chicken, meat and seafood we grilled lots of potatoes and vegetables. Grilling shrimp was then, and still is, an easy and fast dinner we do probably once a week. Marinate the cleaned and shelled shrimp for about 30 minutes at room temperature, then skewer, wrap with Prosciutto and grill for about 5-6 minutes.
Serve the skewers on a bed of wild and brown rice dressed with a little olive oil and some fresh herbs and you have a fast, easy and healthy dinner. Sometimes I brush the shrimp with a little maple syrup before grilling for extra flavor.
For the rosemary skewers I cut sturdy pieces about 14″ in length. If you don’t grow it, find a neighbor who does. Soak the springs in cold water to cover for 30 minutes. With your fingers, strip off the bottom three quarters of the leaves. This becomes the skewer. If the top green part gets a bit charred during grilling, stick a small sprig of fresh green rosemary in the top at serving.
If all you can find is short sprigs at the grocery store, do more small skewers. The short skewers with just two shrimp work great as an appetizer too.
Grilled Shrimp Wrapped with Prosciutto on Rosemary Skewers
Serves 2 (scales up easily)
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- ¼ teaspoon salt (kosher or sea)
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1-2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 – 14” springs of fresh rosemary, soaked in cold water to cover about 30 minutes
- 12 ounces (340 grams)jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined (use big ones, about 5 per person or what are called U12’s, or 12 per pound size)
- 2-3 ounces (55-85 grams) of Prosciutto (approximately, I get extra because I can’t resist eating it)
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) pure maple syrup, optional
- Combine olive oil, lemon juice, paprika, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk or stir together. Add shrimp, toss and let stand at room temperature about 30 minutes. At the same time soak your rosemary sprigs.
- Hold rosemary sprigs and strip ¾ of the leaves off the bottom so you have room to skewer the shrimp. Drain off marinade and discard. Skewer the shrimp through tail and top, about 5 per skewer. It will depend on the size of shrimp you have.
- Slice Prosciutto into long thins strips about an inch or two wide and wrap them around the shrimp. They probably won’t wrap or look perfect, but don’t worry about it. They’ll taste great.
- Grill shrimp skewers on a hot, clean grill about 5-6 minutes total depending on the size of your shrimp and how hot your grill is. When they start to turn pink, turn the skewers. When done, serve drizzled with a little olive oil.
Another option – brush the skewers with a little maple syrup for extra flavor. The sweetness of the maple syrup is wonderful with the Prosciutto.
Note on serving – if your rosemary ends get blackened while grilling, add a sprig or two of fresh, short rosemary sprigs to the ends when serving. Serve over a wild and brown rice blend with a tossed green salad.
Helpful links with information, recipes and tools:
If you have too much zucchini in your garden, try this Lemon Rosemary Zucchini Bread from Simply Recipes.
Use rosemary in this potato recipe for Herbed Dutch Baby Potatoes
For another easy shrimp recipe try Shrimp Scampi with Lemon and Amaretto
Mushroom, Sun Dried Tomato, Mozzarella and Rosemary Dip by A Communal Table
Meyer Lemonade with Rosemary, from White on Rice Couple
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