A Mothers’ Day Feast: Grilled Shrimp & Veggie Rosemary Skewers

By PAUL SIDORIAK

Everyone celebrates Mothers’ Day a little bit differently. Some moms get surprised with breakfast in bed, while others may be given the honor of uninterrupted television privileges or a day-long reprieve from household responsibilities.

However you choose to honor your mother or special lady in your life on Mothers Day, I am sure it will be a big success as long as it comes from the heart.

One of my last summers under my parents’ roof, the three of us found ourselves without the company of my siblings around Independence Day. We adults had the opportunity to enjoy each other in a mature, civilized manner without adolescent interruptions.

My mother came up with an interesting dinner plan that let my father and me collaborate on the outcome. She pitched us on doing shrimp kebabs on the grill, which we were all in favor of, but with the twist of using sprigs from her freakishly large rosemary plant as the skewers instead of the metal ones we normally used. With a little trial and error, a lot of laughs, and some quality bonding time, the result was Grilled Shrimp & Veggies on Rosemary Skewers.

I am anxious for the warm weather to arrive, so I figured if I made a dish that for Mothers’ Day that was conceived in July, Mother Nature would possibly get the hint and bring us some mild temperatures to get the grilling season into full swing.

The Big Green Egg: A great grill for a Mother's Day BBQ, or any day of theyear.

The fun thing about this dish is that the rosemary really brings a floral, woodsy aroma to the dish, infusing the shrimp and the veggies with its essence.

I start by peeling and de-veining my shrimp. If you have a set of helping hands available to pitch in, the prep work is a great way to get them involved in the process. I like to use shrimp that come between 13 and 20 per pound. I find that this size is durable enough to stand up to the skewer and can often be found fresh frozen and defrosted as needed.

If you use veggies like zucchini and yellow squash, make sure to cut them about an inch thick so they do not split when you skewer them. A good tip is to microwave them for about 1-2 minutes to soften them up a bit before grilling.

Take into consideration that shrimp will cook very quickly on the grill and are usually done in less than 5 minutes. Baby new potatoes also work exceptionally well, but make sure you cook them in advance and have them on the grill to warm up, get charred, and take in the aroma of the rosemary sprig.

Grilled shrimp on rosemary skewers - the perfect Mother's DayDinner!

I like to give my veggies and shrimp a relaxing soak in Italian salad dressing for a half hour to 45 minutes before they hit the grill. This brings a well-balanced flavor and some additional moisture to the kebab.

It can be a little tricky to get the food onto the rosemary skewer, so I use a wooden skewer or thin poker to pre-skew the shrimp or veggie so it can slide easily onto the rosemary.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your vegetables. Peppers, onions, mushrooms, squash, zucchini, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, new potatoes, and even peaches can all be great add-ons to this dish.

Whatever you do, remember that it is for Mom and add lots of love as the primary ingredient. Regardless of how it turns out, I guarantee she won’t be disappointed!

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Paul Sidoriak, grill masterPaul moved to Montana in 1996 with about a dozen friends from Lyndon State College in Vermont. He is still reluctantly paying his student loans and has carved out a career working as a supplier representative for various food and beverage products. Paul enjoys grilling after a day on the water or an afternoon in the garden where he has been known to grow heirloom tomatoes and peppers out of spite. Often cooking for extended family and friends, he takes a whimsical approach to cooking simple, seasonal dishes, while not taking it tooseriously.