A Grilled Shrimp Feast, Best Enjoyed Outdoors

Summer is the most effective time to eat outside, and, when consuming outdoors coincides with cooking outside, a lot the higher.

Still, there’s prep work to be carried out inside, and in some instances, as on this menu, you are able to do the prep, or a big a part of it, a day prematurely. Then, when you’re gathered for the picnic — a meal outside is at all times a type of picnic, whether or not eaten at a desk or perched on a rock — all you may have left to do is mild the barbecue.

A salad is vital, particularly at an out of doors meal; you need one thing contemporary. Though potato salad or fruit salad might come to thoughts, a crisp inexperienced salad by no means fails to fulfill. And, for this salad, all of the fixings could be ready nicely earlier than the meal, then carried to the picnic in a cooler.

Crunchy and brilliant inexperienced with small crinkly leaves, Little Gem lettuce makes this salad shine.Credit…David Malosh for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.

This one options Little Gem lettuce, a cross between romaine and butter lettuce that has develop into a well-liked salad selection — crunchy and brilliant inexperienced with small crinkly leaves. If that’s unavailable, search for related small, sturdy lettuce heads or select romaine hearts. Wash the leaves and dry them nicely, roll them in a moist kitchen towel and pop all of it into the fridge. The tart, garlicky dressing that accompanies is made with crushed toasted almonds and sherry vinegar, and is finest transported in a jar with a tightfitting lid. (You can combine the dressing within the jar as nicely.)

For our picnic, fats, contemporary wild shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico (and the Atlantic coast off the Carolinas and Georgia) had been probably the most thrilling choice at my fishmonger’s store. She will get them in weekly, however wild shrimp are additionally out there frozen. (They’re preferable to farmed shrimp from Asia and South America for numerous causes.)

Shell-on shrimp, paired with purple onions and tiny potatoes, keep plump and juicy as they’re grilled.Credit…David Malosh for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.

I just like the bigger ones for grilling, however any measurement is ok. I don’t peel them — I simply thread them shells-on onto bamboo skewers and lay them on a sizzling grill for a couple of minutes per aspect. This methodology not solely ensures that the shrimp keep juicy, however it additionally makes consuming them extra enjoyable, letting you nibble on the crispy little legs earlier than “undressing” them.

An assortment of grilled greens enhances the shrimp properly. For this menu, I selected purple onions, minimize into wedges and grilled slowly, and tiny potatoes, briefly boiled, then set on the grill to char. Other choices may embrace scallions, zucchini or asparagus.

Dip your grilled shellfish and greens in a ruddy and rustic sauce of purple peppers, toasted almonds, garlic and olive oil.Credit…David Malosh for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.

The shrimp and greens all profit from a dip in a piquant purple pepper sauce that takes cues from the Catalan romesco. It’s a thick, brick-colored affair, and tastes good with absolutely anything you possibly can consider, together with the chunk of crusty baguette you must use to scrub your plate. The sauce comes collectively shortly in a meals processor or blender: Just toss in roasted peppers, toasted almonds, garlic and olive oil. (Alternatively, hand-chop the elements for a rough-textured sauce, stirring within the oil on the finish.)

Goat cheese ice cream — flavored with just a little fennel seed, lemon zest and honey — caps this meal completely.Credit…David Malosh for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.

Ice cream ends a summer time meal on a cheerful observe, and the do-it-yourself form is a deal with. I take advantage of the kind of ice cream machine that, as a substitute of ice, employs a steel cylinder you retain within the freezer, ever on the prepared. It takes a mere half-hour to supply a scrumptious soft-frozen combination, which then wants a couple of hours within the freezer to agency up. (Hint: Make it the day earlier than you serve it.) Very fashionable a couple of years in the past, goat cheese ice cream deserves revisiting. The cheese provides a stunning tang, considerably just like the flavour of cheesecake, however use ricotta as a substitute in case you don’t take care of goat cheese. Crushed fennel seed and lemon zest add curiosity, and earthy, amber-toned honey is swirled onto the ice cream combination after it has churned.

Now I ask you, with a menu like this, what’s to not love?

Recipes: Grilled Shrimp Skewers With Roasted Red Pepper Sauce | Little Gems Salad With Garlicky Almond Dressing | Goat Cheese Ice Cream With Fennel, Lemon and Honey

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