Lemon Basil Shrimp

For an entrée or appetizer, fresh shrimp in a no-oil vinaigrette

Many folks like to work out. Me, I like to work outside. And when my garden is thick with leafy ferns in the spring and tall with lily-scented hostas about now, it’s all worthwhile.

But much of the time, a yard with a garden is more about hauling than tending or even weeding.

You know. Hauling dirt. Hauling mulch. Hauling plants. Hauling empty containers. Hauling chemicals, cords and clippings. Hauling yard bags. And this time of year, hauling hoses. And all too soon, hauling leaves and gumballs.

Awhile back, a man I’ll call ‘Bill’ started passing by my place often and regularly enough to recognize that he walked for exercise and Kirkwood streets were his gym. One fine spring day, I was working on the mulch pile in the driveway when Bill passed by, nodding hello in that certain Midwestern-male way.

“Like to help?” I asked, only half joking.

Without breaking stride, he shot back, “Just bought a condo,” as if his answer explained all. It sure did, Bill, it sure did. Keep walking.

ALANNA's TIPS Leave the tails on for no-forks-required appetizers. Sorry, there’s just no delicate way to put this: discarded shrimp shells can stink up the kitchen or garage in a matter of hours. I keep a special bag in the freezer to hold smelly stuff until the next regular garbage day. This works for vacation departures, too. Just don’t forget and try making supper from it months later!
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Send a favorite summer shrimp recipe to e-mail.


Finger-food delicious
Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Time to table: 3 hours
Serves 4 as entrée, 8 as appetizer
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound uncooked shrimp (thawed if frozen) tails left on (see ALANNA’s TIPS), peeled and deveined

  • Zest of a lemon
  • Juice from 1-1/2 lemons (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (fresh dill works too)
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup drained capers

Heat oil on medium in a large skillet til shimmery. Add garlic and cook for a minute. Add enough shrimp to cook in a single layer. Cook until just opaque in the center, turning once, about 5 minutes. Repeat with remaining shrimp.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Add shrimp and gently combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours and up to 24 hours.

To serve as an appetizer, place in dish lined with lettuce leaves and mound shrimp on top. To serve as a main dish, arrange lettuce leaves on four serving plates, mound shrimp on one side, add slices of cheese, fresh fruit and vegetables.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE For Entrée/Appetizer Servings: 195/97Cal; 24/12g Protein; 9/5g Tot Fat; 1/1g Sat Fat; 4/2g Carb; 1/0g Fiber; 512/256mg Sodium; 172/86mg Cholesterol; Weight Watchers 3/1 points

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If you like Kitchen Parade's recipes, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, visit A Veggie Venture, my food blog, home to the Alphabet of Vegetables where there's a vegetable in every recipe and vegetables in every course.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Anonymous8/21/2008

    Bill sounds like my dad's kind of guy, very funny, Alanna.

  2. Anonymous8/21/2008

    PS The shrimp sounds fantastic too!

  3. I totally hear you on the workout a garden can give you. We planted a new one in the front yard this year, and although a lot of work, happy to report that very little died. Next year, the backyard. The shrimp looks like a perfect summer dish!

  4. That sounds so good, Alanna! I'm always looking for new ways to serve shrimp cocktail - our go-to appetizer while the steaks are grilling. Thanks!

  5. That shrimp salad looks really good! I need to find more ways to use the basil I grow!

  6. Oh, I like that! Love lemon and shrimp - and the do ahead part....
    You can come work in my garden anytime!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna