Tuscan Shrimp and Vegetable Kabobs
When you feel like grilling, skewers of shrimp, summer squash, sweet bell peppers and red onion bathed in a flavorful garlic-and-herb butter make a great change from burgers and steaks. All you need to round out this fabulous, Tuscan-inspired meal is some garlic bread, a salad and a nice glass of wine.
- 1-1/2 lbs medium or large shrimp, peeled and deveined (tails left on)
- 4 small summer squash (zucchini, yellow squash or a combination)
- 3 medium bell peppers (1 each - red, green and yellow)
- 1 large red onion
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or more to taste)
- 1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
- Slice the zucchini and/or yellow squash into 3/4-inch slices. Remove the stem and seeds from each of the peppers and cut them into 1-1/2-inch pieces. Leaving the root end in tact, peel the red onion and cut it into 8 wedges. Separate the onion wedges into pieces that are 2 to 3 layers thick.
- Thread the vegetables onto skewers, alternating the thinner pepper and onion pieces between the larger slices of zucchini and yellow squash. If you're using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes prior to using to prevent them from catching fire on the grill.
- Thread the shrimp onto skewers by running the skewer through each shrimp twice to keep them in a curled shape. Place them close together on the skewer to prevent excess charring in between.
- Transfer all the prepared skewers to a platter and set aside. Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high heat (about 400°F).
- Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant and barely golden in color, 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, tilt your pan and spoon about 5 tablespoons of the garlic flavored oil (try not to get any of the solids) into a small bowl.
- Add the butter, vinegar, crushed red pepper, parsley, basil and sun-dried tomatoes to the pan. Leave on low heat to melt the butter and keep the mixture warm.
- Lightly brush the reserved garlic oil onto both sides of the shrimp and veggie skewers, then season with salt and pepper.
- Oil the grill grates and add the vegetable skewers. Grill, turning several times, until the squash is tender and golden brown, 10 to 14 minutes.
- When the veggie kabobs are nearly done, add the shrimp to the grill. Grill, turning several times, until the shrimp are bright pink and opaque. The exact cooking time will depend on the size of your shrimp and the heat of your grill, but 2 to 4 minutes is average.
- Don't leave the shrimp unattended. To test them for doneness, cut one shrimp in half. If it's opaque all the way through, the shrimp are done.
- Transfer all the skewers to a clean platter, liberally spoon the butter mixture over top and serve immediately.