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Cook With Confidence: Summer Herbed Grilled Shrimp

Spoiler alert! Fresh, bright, aromatic, summery perfection. That's what this dish is all about. Whether you are hosting an outdoor party, need a quick dish that still impresses, or just want to grill something delicious - This recipe is for you.

Two simple things influenced my decision to test this dish from the Cooking Light July issue. First, I love shrimp. Shrimp scampi, shrimp po'boys, stuffed shrimp, shrimp gumbo, shrimp and grits... well, you see where this is headed. Second, I already had all the ingredients I needed in my kitchen at home. I always accept this as fate telling me what to make for dinner. I happily obliged and thawed out a pound of frozen shrimp last night.

Other than a few minutes of chopping and zesting, this recipe came together remarkably fast. It's written to be an appetizer but since I was only hosting a hungry husband and a baby, I just transformed it into a weeknight dinner. I also used tail-off shrimp because that's what I had on-hand and it actually worked much better for an entrée. My first step after gathering the ingredients was preparing the herb mixture by combining chopped red onion, minced garlic, lemon zest, fresh oregano and onion chives. Ok, ok - you caught me. The recipe calls for fresh flat-leaf parsley (not onion chives) but I think you can and should substitute your favorite fresh herbs in this dish. We have an herb garden in our backyard and even have parsley planted but it was looking a little sad in this stifling Alabama heat, hence the onion chives!

The finished herb mixture comes out colorful, aromatic, and tantalizing. One look at it and you know it's going to make whatever you put it on just that much more delicious. I admired it while the shrimp cooked in a grill pan over medium heat on the grill. We all know how fast shrimp cooks, so I was mindful here not to overcook. I missed those beautiful char marks from the Cooking Light photo but regardless, the shrimp were cooked properly and tender. Tossing the shrimp with honey, olive oil, salt, and pepper before grilling seemed to coat them well and make the seasoning stick perfectly.

After removing the shrimp from the grill, I added the oil and red wine vinegar to the herb mixture and then tossed it with the shrimp, garnishing with lemon wedges. The presentation was beautiful and I served the shrimp with simple flour tortillas and fresh cherry tomatoes from our garden. This dish was so bright and fresh. Even though I had high expectations for the recipe, I was shocked by how much flavor it had. You could easily make this ahead and serve it chilled. It's impressive enough for entertaining, yet easy enough for a weeknight at home. Plus, it passed the toddler test so you know it is good!

Tempted to make this summer dish? Be sure to snap a photo and share it with us on Twitter or Instagram and use the hashtag #CookWithConfidence. Happy grilling y'all!