Shrimp, Italian Style

These delicate morsels are a far cry from those heavily breaded deep fried shrimp served in so many restaurants.  These are not battered fried but enrobed in a light coating of olive oil, bread crumbs and seasonings to provide a delicate protective covering and then broiled.

You must use your own judgment in the perfect amount of oil and breadcrumbs.  This will vary depending on the size of the shrimp as smaller shrimps have more surface area and will require a bit more oil.  There should be just enough oil to coat the shrimp and just enough breadcrumbs to retain the oil and provide a thin coating.  Be sure to use the best quality shrimp you can find.


1 ½ lbs. large shrimp

3 T extra virgin olive oil

3 T vegetable oil (I prefer peanut oil)

2/3 cup fine dry plain breadcrumbs

½ t freshly grated lemon rind

½ t minced garlic

2 t finely minced parsley

¾ t salt

1/4 t freshly ground black pepper

Lemon wedges


1. Peel and devein shrimp leaving tails intact.  Rinse under cold water and pat dry.

2. In a bowl large enough to generously accommodate shrimp, mix both oils and then the shrimp.  Toss.

3. Add as many breadcrumbs as needed to form a light, even coating.

4. Add lemon zest, garlic, salt and pepper.  Toss again and allow to rest 15 minutes before proceeding.

5. Place on a lightly oiled grill rack under a hot broiler or on a stove top grill pan for 2 to 3 minutes per side, no longer than it takes to form a crisp, golden crust.

6. Serve immediately with lemon wedges.  A bright, freshly made tartar sauce makes a fine accompaniment.

( adapted from a recipe by Marcella Hazan)

Tartar Sauce

2 large shallots, finely chopped

2 medium gherkins or cornichons, finely diced

2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 T parsley, finely chopped

1 cup mayonnaise

Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients and refrigerate until ready to use.

Photographer Bill Brady


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