Grilled Shrimp Cocktail with Tunisian Pesto ~ Wasabi Guacamole

Serves: 6
1 pound medium shrimp with tails, peeled and deveined
Oil or melted butter for grilling
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
½ lime

Tunisian pesto (recipe follows)
Wasabi Guacamole (recipe follows)

For Tunisian Pesto
2 cups packed fresh cilantro (leaves and some stems)
1 cup packed fresh parsley (leaves and some stems)
¼ cup almonds
1 or 2 cloves garlic
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch cayenne pepper

For Wasabi Guacamole
1 slightly heaping tablespoon wasabi powder
1 tablespoon water
1 ripe Hass avocado
1 scallion (white and green parts), finely chopped
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
½ teaspoon mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine) (optional)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat a grill pan or outdoor grill to medium-high. Toss shrimp with just enough oil or butter to coat lightly, then season with salt and pepper to taste. If cooking on an open grill grate, thread the shrimp on skewers or place in a grill basket. Grill shrimp until they just curl and are translucent, about 1-1/2 minutes on each side. Squeeze lime over the shrimp and serve warm or at room temperature with dip.

For Tunisian Pesto:

Combine the cilantro, parsley, almonds, and garlic in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add about 1/3 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Add the salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper, if desired. Add the remaining oil and pulse until smooth. Serve immediately with the Grilled Shrimp.

Makes: One cup

For Wasabi Guacamole:

Whisk wasabi and water in a small bowl to make a thick paste; turn bowl over and set aside. Halve the avocado; press a knife into the pit, then twist and lift it out. Score the flesh with the tip of a knife, then use a spoon to scoop the flesh out of skins into a medium serving bowl. Mix in the wasabi, scallion, lime juice, ginger, mirin (if desired), and salt with a fork to make a textured dip. Stir in the cilantro. Serve with the Grilled Shrimp.

Makes 1-1/4 cups


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