Saturday, October 13, 2012

Pesto Shrimp with Lemon Risotto

Back in August, when my basil plants were still producing succulent, fragrant leaves, I was making a ton of pesto.  I quickly got tired of chicken pesto pasta, however, and needed a new idea to use up my pesto.  I thought that shrimp would probably work well, and that I might pair it with some risotto.

Pesto Shrimp with Lemon Risotto
Pesto Shrimp with Lemon Risotto

For the risotto, I tried Rachael Ray's Lemon Risotto recipe.  The first time I tried it I thought it was too lemony, however.  On my second try, I eliminated the lemon sections, using only the juice and zest of one lemon, and it turned out great with the adjustment.  I then cooked 1 lb of jumbo shrimp and mixed in about a 1/2 cup of pesto, and served it with the risotto.  It works well, and I can see myself making this again next summer when I have fresh basil at my disposal again.

Pesto recipe:


2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
1 cup fresh parsley leaves
2 cloves gaarlic
¼ cup pine nuts
2/3 cup exttra-virgin olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black peepper, to taste
½ cup fresh grated Pecorino cheese


Combine the basil, parsley, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add ½ cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

If using immediately, add all the remaining oil and pulse until smooth.  Transfer the pesto to a large serving bowl and mix in the cheese.

If freezing, transfer to an air-tight container and drizzle remaining oil over the top. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw and stir in cheese.