Cedar Planked Shrimp with Parsley Pesto Sauce

cedar planked shrimp I read somewhere that said grilling fish on a cedar plank is the difference between a substandard cookout and a bodacious backyard blowout. Oh how true those words are! There’s something about that smoky, aromatic flavor that gets infused into your fish, it’s out of this world good!

cedar planked shrimp with parsley pesto sauce If you’ve never experienced the taste of anything cooked on a plank I encourage you to give it a try.  In the past I’ve done salmon several times, scallops, cheese,  and one of my most popular recipes, planked portobellos. Today I’m here to tell you to please make this shrimp!

The shrimp gets tossed in a light pesto made of parsley, garlic, lemon zest, olive oil and a pinch of red pepper flakes and then as it’s cooking you brush even more of the pesto on, it’s so good!

cedar planked shrimp Remember to always use un-treated food safe planks. I recently got a good buy at my Costco, 8 boards, different lengths for 6.99. The hardest thing to do is to remember to soak your boards, I like to soak mine for around 2 hours. I usually fill a rimmed baking sheet with water, then submerge the board, and anchor it down with something heavy.

cedar planked shrimp Grill some lemon halves on the side they’ll plump up and get real juicy, you can squeeze the juice on your fish or use it for dressing in a salad to go along with your shrimp, it’s wonderful!

cedar planked shrimp I cooked my planked shrimp on a gas grill set at medium heat until they turned nice and pink, maybe 15 minutes or so but check accordingly to your own grill. Try not lifting the lid too often because the wet cedar creates an amazing smoke which infuses your shrimp. Have a spray water bottle handy in case you get flare-ups.

cedar planked shrimp with parsley pesto sauce Seriously, you have to try this!

Cedar Planked Shrimp with Parsley Pesto Sauce
  • 1 food safe, cedar planked board, soaked for 2 hours
  • 1 lb. of 21-25 shrimp, cleaned and deveined and patted dry
  • 1 large bunch of Italian parsley
  • the zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely grated on a microplane
  • a pinch or more of red pepper flakes
  • olive oil to loosen the pesto
  1. Mix pesto up by using all the ingredients, set a little bit aside for brushing on the grill.
  2. Toss shrimp in mixture, coating it all over.
  3. Take your board out of the water and pat dry, rubbing the top only with olive oil.
  4. Place your cedar board on a clean and dry baking sheet for ease in carrying it out to the grill.
  5. Arrange shrimp on top, I placed 2 together to form a circle.
  6. Cook on medium high heat until shrimp is cooked and nice and pink brushing with remaining pesto half way through.
  7. Take the 2 lemons that were used for the zest, cut them in half, drizzle with olive oil and place cut side down on the grill, remove when nice grill marks are formed.
  8. Serve your shrimp right from the plank, enjoy!



Cedar Planked Prosciutto Wrapped Scallops

Have you tried plank grilling yet? I’ve been wanting to do it for sometime now. I was completely sold on the idea after some research and reading these few sentences from a Minnesota website that produces grilling planks… “Plank-grilling fish and other foods on sections of soaked aromatic woods set over a grill is surely one of the most sensuously culinary experiences. As the food cooks, almost basting itself in its own oils and juices, it absorbs fragrant wood smoke to achieve a layering of flavors not found in any other form of cooking.” SOLD!!

It’s very important to soak your wood first so it doesn’t burn and flare up on the grill. I soaked mine for 2 hours by laying them in a roasting pan filled with water and weighed down, you can also add apple cider, salt and even wine to your water to give it another layer of flavor.
Some good choices for wood are cedar, alder, pecan, cherry, hickory, oak and maple, but remember to never use lumber scraps, or any wood that is treated or stained.
My scallops were wrapped with strips of proscuitto and then skewered with a rosemary branch. Remove all the leaves except those on top.
Drizzle with some olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Heat your planks on both sides at a medium temperature, when you hear it crackle you know they’re ready. I wanted some grill marks showing so while the wood was heating up I seared one side of the scallops onto my oiled grill. You’ll also want to rub olive oil on the side of the plank you’ll be cooking on, this will prevent sticking and also impart extra flavor.

The end result was a trio of extraordinary flavors!! The smokeyness of the cedar, the saltyness of the proscuitto, all that encompassing sweet scallops, with just a hint of rosemary. I served them with grilled peppers stuffed with Israeli couscous, fresh herbs, garlic, chopped fresh tomatoes and parmesan cheese.
I will be planking more in the future, next time salmon with some maple wood!
Buon Appetito!