Rosemary Grilled Shrimp & Panzanella


My perfect last meal would be: shrimp cocktail, lasagna, steak, creamed spinach, salad with bleu cheese dressing, onion rings, garlic bread, and a dessert of strawberry shortcake.
Joan Rivers quotes

Glorious spring weather here at the coast (at least for a day) and what could be better than some fine NC shrimp grilled and a beautiful Panzanella salad?  With the availability of good heirloom tomatoes and uglies in some of the stores I was ready for a summer like dinner and nothing screams summer like good tomatoes via Florida probably and grilled shrimp.

I had quite the assortment of plum tomatoes, Kumatos, Wild berries, heirloom uglies and cherry tomatoes to work with…do the best you can with tomatoes that you can find this time of year in your area.


Some of the zest and the juice of 1 whole Meyer lemon or regular lemon
1 tablespoon of Rosso red wine vinegar or a good quality red wine vinegar (white balsamic works well)
3-4 tablespoon EVOO whisked into the lemon juice and vinegar until emulsified
Season the dressing with
2 cloves smashed minced garlic and salt and pepper to taste…

1+1/2 pounds cut fresh tomatoes, halve cherry and grape tomatoes, Kumatos into eighths, and the heirloom into approximately the same size as the rest of the tomatoes.  My add-ins for the panzanella: a few pitted green olives, 1/2 English cucumber quartered and sliced, 2-3 green onions, mozzarella cubes, sweet and hot peppers from the store olive bar (mixed peppers and olives), a tablespoon of large rinsed and chopped capers, *optional roasted peppers rough chopped or sliced, a few grates of parmesan and Romano cheeses and finally grilled or toasted bruschetta cubes.  I used the last of last of the rosemary focaccia that I had toasted in a pan with some olive oil…Toss everything into a large serving bowl, our the dressing over and finished with several torn leaves of fresh basil, parsley, tarragon, and oregano toss  and allow to sit covered for a few hours before serving, tossing often.

The shrimp skewers were simple, just strip the leaves of some fresh rosemary branches (thicker mature stalks) or wooden skewers.  Soak the branches or skewers for a few hours in warm until time to skewer the shrimp.  Use peeled and deveined shrimp, tail on or not 🙂 Chop some of the stripped rosemary leaves and mix with about 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil.  Skewer the shrimp and place on platter or plate, drizzle with rosemary olive oil.  Marinate for 10 minutes, season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.  Grill over for about two minutes per side on high, brush with the oil a few times…how to skewer shrimp link below: