Shrimp and Vegetable Skewers

*updated June 2011 with some new pictures.

Inspiration: Our Memorial Day weekend was filled with fabulous weather, and there’s no better time to start grilling than on Memorial Day. B and I took a nice bike ride in the afternoon, and it seemed like the whole city smelled like grilled food. It was fabulous.

What we Loved:  This was easily the best meal that we’ve had in months. B grilled everything just perfectly, and I couldn’t believe the flavor. Neither B nor I have ever had grilled shrimp before, and because shrimp cooks so quickly, I wasn’t expecting it to taste that much different than shrimp cooked inside. But the grilled, charred flavor of the shrimp was just amazing, and we couldn’t get over how great it was. It was like the shrimp soaked up the entire essence and flavor of the grill in the few short minutes that they were cooking. The vegetables were just as good, with my favorite being the slightly crisp and blackened onions. I coated all of the vegetables and shrimp with lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, cilantro, and plenty of garlic before cooking, so everything also had a nice, garlicy flavor. We enjoyed these skewers with some Belgian Training Wheels beer from Original Gravity Brewing Company for a lovely summer evening dinner.

Helpful Hints: The shrimp will cook much more quickly than the vegetables, so be sure to skewer the shrimp on their own skewers, so you can start grilling the vegetables first.

Shrimp and Vegetable Kabobs
Source: Original Recipe to serve 2

14 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 small zucchini, cut into thick chunks
8 baby portabella mushrooms
1/2 red pepper, cut into thick slices
1/2 vidalia onion, cut into thick wedges
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 lime
A handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced

1. Place 8-10 wooden skewers in a dish of water to soak for 30 minutes.

2. Place the vegetables in a bowl, and place the the shrimp in a second bowl. To each bowl, add a liberal drizzle of olive oil and the juice of 1/2 lime. Sprinkle with Kosher salt, black pepper, cilantro, and minced garlic. Mix to combine.

3. When you’re ready to grill, skewer the vegetables and the shrimp, making sure to keep them on different skewers because the shrimp will cook much more quickly than the vegetables.

4. Grill the vegetable skewers first, for approximately 7-10 minutes per side. Pour any extra marinade that has accumulated in the bowl over the skewers after you place them on the grill. When the vegetable skewers are just about finished, grill the shrimp skewers for approximately 1-2 minutes per side.

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