Grilled Shrimp with Roasted Red Pepper Aioli recipe

If you have the inclination to craft your own aioli, by all means do it. In any other instance start with good mayonnaise and you are two steps ahead. You should be able to find nicely roasted and jarred red peppers in the pickle aisle. As a general practice, give them a light squeeze when you drain the jar to be sure you are not adding too much liquid to your sauces.

Don’t forget that wooden skewers should be soaked in water for at least an hour, and metal ones become branding irons once placed on the grill. If you can find a flat skewer rather than perfectly round, it will be the easier to maneuver since shrimp tend to spin as you flip them.

I served this dish as an intro to my flank steak recipe. You can mix it up with tapas style service, or as a main dish with some nice bread and a mixed green salad tossed in Dijon vinaigrette. This recipe would even be great po' boy-style on a big soft roll with some shredded lettuce or vinaigrette-based slaw. Either way, next time you find nice large shrimp -- this is what you do with them.

Here is the recipe:

Grilled Shrimp with Roasted Red Pepper Aioli


2 pounds large shrimp, tail on (raw, deveined, peeled)

2 tablespoons minced onion

2 large cloves garlic, minced

½ teaspoon dried basil

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flake

Juice of 1 lime

Salt & pepper to taste


1 small roasted red pepper

1 clove garlic, smashed

1 tablespoon diced onion

Salt & pepper

Juice of ½ lemon

2/3 cup mayonnaise

For the shrimp -

Combine the onion, garlic, basil, chili, lime, salt & pepper. Add the shrimp and toss together to coat. Cover and refrigerate for one hour.

For the aioli-

In a small food processor, blend together the red pepper, garlic, onion until smooth. Add the mayonnaise, lemon juice, and season well with salt & pepper.

Pulse until fully combined and the texture has evened out.

Heat the grill to high as you skewer the shrimp. Cook for 2-3 minutes each side or until pink and still tender. Take care not to overcook.

Serve immediately, with the aioli along side.

The summer in San Francisco arrives late, in September and October, as the days get longer and the cold bay breezes subside. While the East coast is planning for fall, we sit in our city and soak in the rare sunshine that has been so graciously bestowed upon us, knowing that November brings  fall and winter temps for about 7 months.

Warm weather and clear skies inspire me to my Florida seafood roots, and alternative cooking methods which point me towards the grill. With your outdoor cooking skills, basic recipes and a great cocktail in hand, you can entertain a crowd of two, or the masses.

This recipe calls for simple flavors, combined to create a starter that is light, fresh and flavorful. If you’ve never experimented with aioli, give it a try. It can add so much to the plate as a sauce and sublime, acidic, creamy accent to your dish.

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