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Grilled Rosemary Shrimp with Orange Aioli

Grilled Rosemary Shrimp with Orange Aioli
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Grilled shrimp are always a welcome sight at a party and these little beauties are no exception. Flavored with garlic, citrus and rosemary and paired with a garlicky orange dip, these skewers go beautifully with rosé, making them the perfect summer appetizer. I’ve given you two options for the aioli (Aye-O-lee), a mayonnaise-like Provençal sauce typical of the region; one for when you feel energetic and another for when you’d rather just relax in the afternoon sun, noshing on juicy shrimp and quaffing pink wine. You choose. Both are terrific.

It’s that easy: It really is easy to make aioli from scratch. Use a bigger bowl than you think you’ll need and your largest whisk. It’s important to dribble the oil in very slowly (and I mean drop by drop) but once half the oil is added you can add it a little more quickly. Switch hands when one arm gets tired and lay a damp dish towel under the bowl so that it stays put. Don’t be sad if the sauce isn’t thick like mayonnaise. This is a dip and it’s perfectly fine if only saucy. If you opt for the simplified version it will be thicker. You can thin it with a little more orange juice if you prefer.

Start to finish: 1 hour
Hands on time: 30 minutes

Makes about 30 shrimp

Ingredients for Shrimp:

  • 1 orange, zested and squeezed
  • 1/2 lemon, zested and squeezed
  • 2 branches rosemary, leaves stripped and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb raw medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 30 wooden skewers, soaked for 30 minutes in water
  • In a zip lock bag combine the orange zest and juice, lemon zest and juice, rosemary, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper and squish it around to combine it well. Add the shrimp to the bag and seal it. Lay the bag flat in the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  • While the shrimp marinates, make the aioli.

Ingredients for Orange Aioli

Makes about 1/2 cup

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Pinch of salt plus more
  • 1 large pasteurized egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed or canola oil in a measuring cup with a spout
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Chop garlic on a cutting board and sprinkle with salt. Smash garlic and salt with the flat side of a knife. The salt will help to grind it down to a paste. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the yolk, lemon juice, zest, orange juice and mustard. The oil should be in a pourable measuring cup. Add the oil a drop or two at a time while whisking constantly. It will begin to thicken after about half the oil is added. At this point you can add the oil a little more quickly. The most important thing is to begin slowly so that the oil has a chance to emulsify into the yolk mixture. Once you’ve made it a few times it is super easy, though you may develop larger biceps.
  3. Whisk in the garlic paste and season the aioli with salt and pepper. Refrigerate up to 24 hours and serve chilled. If it gets too thick, whisk in a little more orange juice.
  4. If you don’t want to make aioli from scratch, go ahead and mash the garlic as directed and blend it with 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon orange zest, 1 tablespoon orange juice and 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate up to 24 hours and serve chilled. If it gets too thick, whisk in a little more orange juice.
  5. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
  6. Skewer the shrimp on wooden skewers that have been soaked in water for 30 minutes (so they don’t catch on fire!).
  7. Lay the shrimp out on the grate of the hot grill or on a grill pan over medium-high heat and cook for 3 minutes. Turn and cook another 2 minutes. Careful not to overcook. Pile the shrimp onto a large platter and serve with the orange aioli.

Shrimp can be served hot or room temperature. Can be made 30 minutes before serving and kept at room temperature.

Grilled Rosemary Shrimp with Orange Aioli

Grilled Rosemary Shrimp with Orange Aioli

Carla Snyder

By Carla Snyder

Carla has spent the past 30 years in the food world as a caterer, artisan baker, cooking school teacher, food writer and author of 6 cook books including the James Beard nominated Big Book of Appetizers. Her passion is sharing fresh, cooked-from-scratch weeknight meals that cut prep time and practically eliminate that nightly sink full of dishes.

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