Cilantro Pesto Seafood Cocktail

Posted by Olivia on Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Cilantro Pesto Seafood Cocktail

You’ve had shrimp cocktail time and again—poached shrimp served with a zesty dipping sauce. Well, our spin on the traditional recipe will change the way you look at shrimp cocktail forevermore!

Our Cilantro Pesto Seafood Cocktail uses mixed seafood instead of just shrimp. Straight from the frozen fish aisle at the grocery store, we used a bag of frozen mixed seafood, containing calamari, shrimp, and scallops. The combination has more flavor, texture, and nutrition than stand-alone shrimp. And rather than the blasé red cocktail sauce, we’ve made a zippy pesto to toss with the seafood—fresh cilantro, grassy Olio Nuovo, and savory Kalamata Tapenade.

Serve this delightful dish in cocktail glasses for hors d’oeuvres, atop a green salad for a healthy meal, or alongside crackers and cheese for a noshing platter.


Ingredients
  • 4 cups frozen shrimp, calamari, or mixed seafood
  • 2 cups chopped fresh cilantro, packed
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup Olio Nuovo
  • 2 tablespoons Kalamata Olive Tapenade

Directions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add seafood and cook until just pink, about 2 minutes. Drain; set aside.
  2. Combine cilantro, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper in a food processor. Pulse until well chopped. With the machine running, slowly drizzle olive oil into food processor; blend until smooth. Adjust seasonings to taste. Set aside.
  3. To serve, toss reserved seafood with tapenade and about ¼ cup of reserved pesto. Add more pesto to taste; store remaining pesto in refrigerator. Serve in chilled glasses with cocktail forks.

Notes: Makes about 4 servings.
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