We’re Cooking: Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Shrimp with Saffron Rice

Gary asked me to make him saffron rice with some shrimp I had gotten last night at Central Market.  There is a brand I love called Mahatma that costs about 89 cents a package and makes the fluffiest, creamiest saffron flavored rice – a perfect base for any protein.  Last nights – shrimp.  I had made a spicy sundried tomato pesto not long ago and thought it would be great rubbed on the shrimp and then baked.  If you don’t want to make yours, a packaged pesto will work just as well.  But, it is pretty easy to make.

We started dinner with a lively White Bordeaux from Chateau Boisson.  I had picked it up recently at Goody-Goody for about $10 a bottle, and was pleasantly surprised by the lively character of the wine with good minerality and herbal notes followed by bright citrus and stone fruit flavors.

Great with our Greek salad we started with and the zesty shrimp.  Cheers!


Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Shrimp
For the pesto:
Like I said, I made mine a bit spicy – feel free to leave out the peppers to keep a more neutral flavor.
6 oz chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1 tablespoon ancho paste
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3-4 oz parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon cilantro
1 tablespoon parsley
juice and zest of 1 lime
1 tablespoon pine nuts
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper

For the shrimp:
1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons white wine
salt and pepper to taste
juice of 1 large/2 small limes
chopped cilantro for garnish

Follow the package instructions for the rice – should take about 20 minutes total, which is about how long the rest of the dish takes.
Blend all the ingredients for the pesto together, starting with everything except the oil, slowly add the oil in to create an emulsion.  Generously coat the shrimp with the pesto and add the juice and zest of the lemon, the wine, and season with salt and pepper. Let marinate for about 15 minutes then bake in a 350 oven for about 10-15 minutes until the shrimp are pink and curled.  Remove from the oven and squeeze the lime juice over (after the dish has been cooked.)  Scoop the rice into a serving dish and top with the shrimp.  Garnish with a bit of cilantro.