Simply seasoned and perfectly roasted shrimp skewers with creamy tzatziki. Light and refreshing on its own or turned into a Greek inspired salad for a meal!
How is 2015 treating you all thus far? I hesitate to answer that question, because I am seriously superstitious when it comes to things like that. Almost as if answering that question with, “it has been Grrrrreeeaaat!” (said in Tony the Tiger voice) will automatically jinx the rest of my year. And, no matter how many colored rabbits feet I invest in, my year will be doomed to an undesirable fate.
I’m cray-cray… I know, I know! I totally blame Boy. Some girl, back in high school, dusted him with red sparkly glitter and said some chant cursing him for eternity. Lol. Okay, now you probably really do think I’m certifiably nuts… I don’t think her red sprinkles actually put a weird voodoo hex on him. But, every time he asks me how my day is going and I answer, my day goes from good to bad. So now I only answer that question when he asks me on bad days… hoping his cursed self will magically transform my day into something great. 🙂
The shrimp are perfectly roasted and simply, but generously, seasoned. The tzatziki is fresh and creamy, with a mellow tart undertone. The two paired together culminate into an amazingly delicious dish that is light and refreshing.
This dish is also super easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy to whip together. And totally versatile. I chose to make a Greek salad, but you could definitely eat these skewers and dip on their own, shove them into some pita bread for a quick sandwich, or make them apart of a Mediterranean antipasto platter. Oh, or make a pita shrimp pizza with tzatziki as the base sauce. Really the possibilities are limitless.
For the Greek inspired salad I used bibb lettuce, red onions, cucumbers, roasted red peppers, and feta cheese. But, please use whatever ingredients you have on hand or love. Some tomatoes, olives, or hummus* would have been a delicious addition.
I want to leave you with my secret to a great, flavorful, non-watery, tzatziki before we bid adieu. Three things: box grater, hothouse cucumbers, and adequately salting and draining the cucumbers. If you can’t get your hands on any hothouse cucumbers, that stinks, but no need to worry. You can still totally make the tzatziki, you will just need to do a little bit more work. Scoop out all the seeds of the cucumber and increase the amount of time you drain the cucumbers by about 10-15 minutes.
When it comes to the shrimp, my word of advice is to be sure you do NOT overcook them. When cooked, they should be slightly opaque, pink, and JUST cooked through. They will continue to cook slightly after they are removed from the oven. If you have ever been unfortunate enough to have consumed overcooked shrimp, you know they are chewy and tough. This is no Bueno, unless you like eating shoe leather… then by all means, feel free to cook these for as long as your heart desires.
*I specifically did not add hummus to this salad because I have a yummy hummus recipe coming up next for you. You will have to stay tuned… and come back and visit me. (I’m sneaky, I know) 🙂
- 1 pound Large Shrimp (10-15 count) – thawed, peeled, deveined, and tails still in tact
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil (about 1 – 2 Tablespoons)
- Sea Salt
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Tzatziki Sauce:
- 1 medium Hothouse Cucumber – peeled, and grated, using the side with large holes, on a box grater
- 1 ¼ tsp Kosher Salt , divided
- 1 Cups plain Greek Yogurt
- 3 Cloves Garlic – minced
- 2 tsp Lemon Juice (can substitute white wine vinegar)
- 1 heaping TBS fresh Dill – chopped
- 1/8 tsp Black Pepper , or more to taste
- 2 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil , for drizzling over tzatziki, optional
- Prepare the Tzatziki Sauce: Place a fine mesh colander into a large bowl, add the grated cucumber to the colander. Using a clean kitchen towel, press down on the cucumber to remove as much excess moisture as possible. Sprinkle with 1 tsp salt and toss to evenly coat. Allow the cucumber to strain for 20-30 minutes. Using another clean kitchen towel, press down again to remove any remaining liquid from the cucumber and discard liquid.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the remaining tzatziki ingredients, except for the olive oil. When cucumbers are thoroughly drained, add them to the mixing bowl and gently stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and allow flavors to marry for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
- For the Shrimp: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place shrimp in a large mixing bowl, drizzle with a couple glugs of extra virgin olive oil (about 1-2 tablespoon). Season generously with salt and pepper (about ½ tsp of each). Toss to coat evenly.
- Transfer the shrimp to a baking sheet or a large baking dish and arrange in a single layer, being sure to not overlap the shrimp.
- Roast for 7-8 minutes, or until shrimp are pink-opaque and firm to touch.
- To serve: Taste the tzatziki sauce and adjust for seasoning. Drizzle the top of the tzatziki sauce with a little bit of olive oil if desired. Serve with the roasted shrimp.
- Serving options: over lettuce, with pita bread, sliced tomatoes, pitted olives, sliced red onions, roasted red peppers, feta cheese.
*To thaw shrimp, if they are frozen, place a colander in the sink, add the shrimp and run COLD water over them for about 10 minutes, or until defrosted, tossing occasionally.
*Tzatziki sauce tastes the best if you allow the flavors to marry, ideally overnight. It will keep, stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.
*If using smaller shrimp (higher count per pound), simply decrease the cooking time.