Photo Credit: Kalamazoo Gourmet

Shrimp and Strawberry Gazpacho Recipe

The heat of late-summer calls for fresh, light and chilled dishes to cool us down. On its own, gazpacho is a classic and refreshing summer dish that uses everything that’s in season, including tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and even strawberries for a surprisingly bright, sweet note. When paired with grilled shrimp, gazpacho is transformed into a satisfying and hearty dish that can be served as either an appetizer at a barbecue or as a fulfilling dinner al fresco.

Shrimp is a versatile and delicious protein that’s a well-loved staple of summer cooking. It can be skewered, slathered in butter and tossed on the grill for a perfect accompaniment to a simple salad or pasta. It can also be boiled with seasonings and enjoyed on its own. Or, as a popular starter to many parties, it can be displayed with a bowl of cocktail sauce for dunking.

This Summer Gazpacho with Grilled Shrimp recipe is an elevated version of shrimp cocktail. While they may look similar, the flavor of gazpacho and grilled shrimp together is a more modern, artisanal iteration. What makes shrimp cocktail such a hit at parties, especially in the summer, is that shrimp and tomatoes are not only a natural pair, but the chilled ingredients make for some refreshing and delicious bites.

In this Summer Gazpacho with Grilled Shrimp recipe, the season’s freshest ingredients are highlighted in a simple, elegant and flavorful way that everyone will enjoy. This makes 4-6 servings.

Ingredients for the Grilled Shrimp:

2 lbs extra large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 tsp paprika

3 cloves sliced garlic

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tbsp olive oil

½ tsp black pepper

1 tbsp brown sugar

½ tsp salt

4 wooden skewers

Ingredients for the Gazpacho:

2 garlic cloves, minced

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 ½ lbs vine-ripened tomatoes, seeded and chopped

1 pint strawberries, hulled and chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

½ large cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped

1-2 canned chipotle peppers, seeded and minced

½ red onion, chopped

1 cup bottled tomato juice

2 avocados, diced

Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

1. In a large sealable bag, toss shrimp with paprika, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, black pepper, salt and brown sugar. Marinate for 20 minutes in the refrigerator.

2. Soak skewers in water for 30 minutes. Prepare grill to high heat. Skewer the shrimp and grill for 2-3 minutes on each side.

3. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cut an X on the bottom of each tomato, drop into the boiling water for 15 seconds and transfer to an ice bath for 1 minute. Peel the tomatoes. When seeding the tomatoes, do so over a strainer set on a large bowl to catch the juice. Pour bottled tomato juice into the bowl.

4. Add chopped tomatoes, strawberries, cucumber, bell pepper, onion, chipotle peppers, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper to the bowl. Stir to combine.

5. Transfer 1 ½ cups of the mixture to a blender and blend until smooth. Return to bowl, stir and chill the gazpacho for 2 hours and up to overnight.

6. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, diced avocados and the grilled shrimp.

This unique twist on the traditional gazpacho incorporates smoky chipotle peppers that pair well with the grilled flavor of the shrimp. It’s an easy preparation that will impress your friends and family and will be a welcome refreshment in the heat of the summer. For those who prefer to go meatless or incorporate other seafood, this gazpacho is readily adaptable for vegans and can even be served with crab meat or salmon.

If you’re in the mood for some seafood, but aren’t in the mood for cooking and cleaning, there are lots of nearby restaurants to get your shrimp and fish fix without the work. At Home Restaurant in Los Feliz and Silver Lake, their dinner menu is loaded with favorites like tuna tartare, crab cakes, fried calamari and fish tacos. The grilled salmon entrée for dinner and lunch at Tuning Fork Gastropub in Studio City is a healthy and delicious option. Salmon can also be found in two forms at Blu Jam Café in Studio City, Woodland Hills and West Hollywood: grilled and served with veggies and mashed potatoes or with a side of sautéed spinach, zucchini and tomato sauce. Malbec in Pasadena and Toluca Lake offers a variety of seafood dishes such as gazpacho with bay shrimp, salads topped with salmon, tuna or shrimp and a seafood stew with calamari, baby octopus, wild shrimp, scallops and mussels.

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