Grilled Pesto Shrimp Panzanella combines fresh tomatoes, grilled bread, plump shrimp and pesto. Summer backyard fare at its best.
The whole dish screams summer – grilling the shrimp and bread, summer tomatoes and fresh basil pesto. Great combination.
Panzanella is a rustic bread salad, typically served with tomatoes, basil and a vinaigrette dressing. By turning the basil into a pesto used in the shrimp marinade and dressing, both the shrimp and bread cubes get well coated in the herby, salty, garlicky flavours. Add a squeeze of lemon and it’s good to go. My husband nodded enthusiastically the other night (his mouth was full) as he was devouring it in our backyard.
I like to serve the panzanella over a bed of greens for the colour and nutrition. It can be made ahead of time since it’s served cold or at room temperature. The grilled bread gets chewy on the inside and still maintains a bit of crispness on the outside. Try serving the grilled pesto shrimp panzanella salad with a gazpacho soup and a cold beer.
- To make the meal stretch farther, add some onions, olives, grilled peppers, cucumbers, shredded carrots and/or other veggies.
- Add some toasted walnuts, pistachios or other nuts.
- You can use other types of pesto like spinach, parsley, etc.
- Any tomatoes will do, but you simply can’t beat peak-of-the-season heirloom or beefsteak tomatoes.
- Substitute tofu for the shrimp.
- Buy a good pesto in the store.
You might also want to check out our Savory Peach Panzanella Salad (scroll down).