When it comes to fast and easy appetizers, shrimp cocktail is a surefire crowd pleaser (unless you’re feeding vegetarians). And when it comes to summer, simple is the name of the game.

I love shrimp cocktail in the hotter months – served chilled with a biting cocktail sauce, it can be light and crisp, like the seafood equivalent of a crunchy salad.

In honor of the first day of summer, thought I would share this easy-peasy recipe for shrimp cocktail that’s made by roasting the shrimp for a mere 8 minutes. This being summer though, you may not want to turn your oven on at all, which would be understandable. In which case you can grill these crustaceans on an open flame. I just love that you don’t boil the shrimp here, which leaves them, well, kind of tasteless.

This recipe is adapted from Ina Garten’s Back to Basics.

Roasted Shrimp Cocktail

For the shrimp:
2 pounds cleaned, deveined shrimp, tail on (about 12-15 critters)
1-2 tbsp good olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt (I like flaky Maldon salt)
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

For the sauce:
1/2 c chili sauce
1/2 c ketchup
3 tbsp horseradish
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp Tabasco

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle the olive oil on a baking sheet then add the salt and black pepper. Place the shrimp on the baking sheet, coating both sides with the oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 8 to 10 minutes until just pink and firm. Set aside to cool.

For the cocktail sauce, combine all the ingredients and serve as a dip for the shrimp.

Another summery way to serve the roast shrimp would be to forego the cocktail sauce, chop the roasted shrimp into small pieces and add to summer rolls or lettuce wraps with avocado, cilantro or mint, julienned carrots, Vietnamese cellophane noodles, and Sriracha.

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