Wednesday, November 24, 2010

RECIPE - Grilled Seafood Salad with Parsley and Mint Pesto

This simple, elegant and light salad features a variety of grilled seafood dressed with a pesto made from fresh parsley and mint, drizzled with best-quality olive oil, and served with a wedge of lime. the recipe comes from Prazeres da Mesa, a Brazilian food and wine magazine, where it was suggested as an first course for a formal Christmas dinner. I think it would also make an excellent main-course salad at lunch, as it's rather substantial.

As originally published, the recipe calls for large shrimp, rings of squid cut from the tube, and rabalo (snook) fish. (Click here to read about rabalo on Flavors of Brazil.) Any firm-fleshed white fish, such as halibut, can be substituted as long as it isn't a fish that would flake if grilled. Although neither parsley nor mint are native to Brazil, both herbs are an essential part of Brazilian cooking traditions and are established as integral parts of the Brazilian flavoring spectrum.
RECIPE - Grilled Seafood Salad with Parsley and Mint Pesto
Serves 6

6 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 Tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup Brazil nuts, roasted but unsalted
1/2 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint

12 large shrimp, headless, peeled but with tails left on, deveined
6 small squid tubes, cut into thick rings
1 lb (500 gr) robalo or other white fish fillets, cut into large pieces
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
juice of one large lime
salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste
To make the pesto - In a blender or food processor combine the olive oil, the parmesan cheese and the Brazil nuts. Process until you have a coarse, chunky mixture- do not overprocess. Add the herbs and process until you have a homogenous but not smooth mixture. Season to taste with salt and reserve.

To make the seafood - Season all the seafood with lime juice and salt and pepper to taste. In a non-stick frying pan or grill pan brushed with olive oil grill the shrimps for about 3 minutes per side. Reserve. Repeat the grilling operation with the squid, then the fish, reserving each.

Assembling the salad - Arrange the seafood nicely on plates, drizzle with a some pesto and a bit of olive oil. Serve, and pass the remaining pesto in a small bowl.


  1. This looks wonderfull...I will head to the fish market in the morning. For me an alternative to turkey! Thank you Jim

  2. Feliz Dia de Ação de Graças, Doug!