Chimichurri Shrimp ~ this can be a low carb and paleo friendly appetizer, or a comforting 30-minute meal when you pair it with pasta, couscous, or warm toasty bread.
Chimichurri sauce is a unique uncooked sauce meant to go with grilled meats…it comes from Argentina where they take their ‘asado’ very seriously. This sauce is garlicky, spicy, and a brilliant emerald green thanks to the fresh herbs like parsley, cilantro, and oregano. (Can you see why I love it so much?) A little like pesto, for you gringos, but a whole lot more zesty and vibrant. If you make the chimichurri sauce ahead (it gets better as it sits) this dish will take you all of 10 minutes. That barely gives you enough time to pour a glass of wine. We should all have such problems!
I think chimichurri is my desert island sauce. Try it and I’m pretty sure you’ll agree, and you don’t have to limit it to grilled meats…my absolute favorite way to enjoy it is over fried eggs…yum. My Cuisinart Food Processor is the perfect tool for this, it minces everything finely and evenly, and I just add each ingredient in succession, scraping down the sides as I go.
TIP: If you’re sensitive to raw garlic, don’t skip it, try roasted garlic — that will mellow out the flavor and the unwanted effects of the raw garlic.
When I serve this chimichurri shrimp as a starter, I love to leave the tails on so that people can use them as a little handle, it makes the whole dish so much easier to eat. That little bit of meat under the tail is the best morsel, too. If you plan to serve this over pasta, etc, you may want to buy smaller shrimp and remove the whole shell. This sauce would be amazing with scallops, too, if you can find them.
TIP: Like pesto, chimichurri is an uncooked sauce, and the flavor is best unheated. If you must heat it, do it briefly, and at the last minute.
The really great thing about this appetizer is that it can be made at the very last second. The shrimp takes just minutes to cook, so if you’re having guests you can throw it on when you hear the doorbell ring. The sauce can be made up to 24 hours ahead of time, too, and the flavors will actually have a chance to mature that way.
TIP: Go ahead and use frozen shrimp, either raw or cooked for this dish. All shrimp, even ‘fresh’, has been frozen at some point in order to get it from the boat to the market.
- one batch chimichurri sauce
- 1 pound raw shrimp, shelled and veined, leave tails on
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- fresh cracked black pepper
- Toss the shrimp with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Heat a large skillet on medium heat, and when it is hot, add the shrimp in a single layer. Cook just until the shrimp curl and turn pink, then flip and cook for another minute. Remove from heat.
- Spread the chimichurri sauce in a casserole dish, serving dish, or skillet, and nestle the cooked shrimp down into the sauce.
- Serve with crusty bread for dipping, or serve over rice, couscous, or pasta.
- If you’ve got leftover fresh herbs, don’t let them go to waste — I’ll show you How to Dry Herbs in the Microwave!
- Thank God for shrimp…it’s the original 30-minute meal!