Prosciutto-wrapped Shrimp with Basil & Creamy Garlic Sauce

Prosciutto-wrapped shrimp

Need a quick but “wow” appetizer for a BBQ this weekend? These grilled shrimp bites are just the thing. You can prep the shrimp skewers and the sauce earlier in the day, or even a day ahead. When it’s party time, toss the skewers onto the grill and cook for a few minutes until the prosciutto is crisp and the shrimp have turned pink. Serve on a platter with the sauce alongside for dipping, or spoon some sauce onto small plates for an elegant first course.  (I’ve even served the shrimp over pasta and called it dinner.)

This recipe first appeared in Bon Appétit in 1996 (credit attributed to Jake’s On The Lake, Tahoe City, CA). It’s not much of a recipe, though – just shrimp wrapped with a basil leaf and prosciutto. The original recipe calls for a whole slice of prosciutto per shrimp, but I think ½ slice is a better proportion. I also created my own version of the sauce – no blending required. Normally I’m not a huge mayonnaise user (or fan), but I like it in this sauce. (A little goes a long way.)

Prosciutto-wrapped Shrimp with Basil & Creamy Garlic Sauce

Makes 6 appetizer servings

  • 6 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
  • 18 large or extra-large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 18 basil leaves
  • 9 slices prosciutto (from 4-oz pkg), cut in half crosswise
  • Olive oil for brushing

Creamy Garlic Sauce

  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup Hellman’s mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • Pinch (1/4 teaspoon) kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Soak the bamboo skewers in water to prevent them from turning to charcoal on the grill.

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While the skewers are soaking, assemble the shrimp:

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Arrange the ½ slices prosciutto out on a work surface. Place a basil leaf at the short end of each slice. Place a shrimp on top of the basil leaf and roll up tightly like a sleeping bag. (Or just hold in your hand and wrap like I usually do.) The prosciutto should be stretchy and slightly sticky, helping the shrimp bundle stay wrapped. Set onto a platter or baking sheet and repeat until all shrimp are wrapped.

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The shrimp bundles don’t have to be perfectly wrapped.

Thread 3 shrimp onto each skewer. Brush both sides of the skewers with olive oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to grill. IMG_3178

For the sauce, combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix until smooth. Cover and refrigerate. IMG_3164

The only small lumps should be bits of garlic.

The only small lumps should be bits of garlic.

Heat grill to medium-high. Grill shrimp skewers about 5-7 minutes, turning frequently, until the prosciutto has crisped and the shrimp are pink and opaque. Transfer to a platter and serve with dipping sauce, or serve on individual plates with a small spoonful of sauce.

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Prosciutto-wrapped shrimp

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