Grilled Shrimp Limoncello

This recipe is adapted from one created by Chef Claire Criscuolo, co-owner of Claire’s Corner Copia and Basta, both in New Haven, Connecticut. Rosemary branches that double as skewers give the shrimp in this salad a wonderful aroma and a festive appearance. Chef Criscuolo uses mild, wine-friendly golden balsamic vinegar and limoncello in the vinaigrette. She likes the organic golden balsamic from Spectrum Organics in California ( and recommends organic products throughout the recipe. Food-safety note: Don’t try to save time or dishes by basting the shrimp right from the salad dressing. Instead, use a separate bowl for the dressing that will be used for basting. By not doing so, you could contaminate the rest of the salad dressing with raw seafood juices that might contain bacteria. Any bacteria on the shrimp will be killed during grilling, but if you baste the shrimp, dip your brush back into the uncooked dressing and then dress your salad, you could spread foodborne illness.

Wine recommendations: Criscuola’s recommendations are all Italian: Sauvignon Blanc from Friuli, Greco di Tufo from Campania or a sparkling Prosecco.

  • 4 branches fresh rosemary
  • For the dressing:
  • ◦1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ◦1 small clove garlic, minced
  • ◦2 tablespoons golden balsamic vinegar
  • ◦1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • ◦2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, from about 1/2 lemon
  • ◦1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon limoncello
  • ◦Salt and pepper to taste
  • For the salad:
  • ◦12 jumbo (U-12) shrimp, peeled and deveined, with tails left on
  • ◦1 pound mixed baby greens or organic arugula
  • ◦12 organic golden teardrop tomatoes, or other cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
  • ◦3 ounces crumbled feta cheese

Prepare a charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill. Soak the rosemary branches in cold water for 15 minutes, then drain. Meanwhile, prepare the dressing. Combine the olive oil, garlic, golden balsamic and balsamic vinegars, lemon juice and limoncello in a cup and whisk well to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper as necessary.

Thread 3 shrimp onto each rosemary branch, gently pushing them together until they just touch. Set them on a plate. Whisk the dressing, then scoop out a couple of tablespoons and pour them into another cup. Using a pastry brush, baste the shrimp from the smaller portion of dressing, brushing all sides of the shrimp.

Arrange the mixed greens onto a large serving platter. Scatter the halved tomatoes evenly over the greens. Grill the shrimp for 3-4 minutes on each side until they are opaque and slightly pink. Then arrange them onto the platter of mixed greens. Drizzle the remaining dressing evenly over the salad greens and the grilled shrimp. Scatter the feta cheese evenly over the salad.

Published on July 6, 2010