A bright and peppery pesto that pairs great with shrimp and chicken. Easy to prepare and quick to cook, this arugula-macadamia pesto shrimp will be on your table in less than thirty minutes.
I made this dish after having an excess of arugula in my fridge. Rather than making a boring salad, an arugula pesto sounds much more appealing. Since arugula is a peppery green, balancing it with the macadamia nuts is a great way to cut its bite. The addition of lemon also rounds out the overall flavor of this pesto.
What began as a need to use extra arugula, became a great little sauce that can be used in a variety of dishes.
This arugula-macadamia pesto is versatile and can be used tossed in a pasta, on pizza, mixed in salad dressing, or brushed over grilled chicken breasts. I opted to use Argentine red shrimp only because they happened to be on sale at the store. I’ll typically get Gulf shrimp as they’re more prevalent in Texas, but these were an option so I jumped on it. The Argentine red shrimp are similar to lobster in flavor with a sweet and robust flavor. They go well with the pesto and makes them even more enjoyable than they already are.
For me, the shrimp came deveined and without tails. This makes them easy to go from fridge to skewer in about 5 minutes time. After preparing the pesto, brush a little over each skewer. Place the skewered shrimp on a griddle, or grill, set to high heat. Grill each side for 3-4 minutes until the shrimp are firm and no longer transparent. Serve with a couple wedges of lemon to further enhance the flavor. You could even reserve a little pesto and mix it into some ranch to have in a side salad.
Arugula-Macadamia Pesto Shrimp
- 1.5 lbs fresh shrimp skewered
- 3.5 cups packed arugula
- 1/2 cup macadamia nuts
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese grated
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 juiced lemon yields about 2 tbsp
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Combine arugula, macadamia nuts, parmesan, garlic and lemon into a food processor. Pulse a few times to break up ingredients. Turn food processor on and slowly drizzle olive oil into food processor until desired consistency. Taste and add salt & pepper for desired taste.
- Brush pesto over both sides of skewered shrimp. Over high heat, cook shrimp on grill or griddle. Cook 3-4 minutes per side until shrimp is firm and no longer translucent.
- Serve with lemon wedges.