Shrimp Bruschetta Anyone ? You know what I’m really good at ? What I master like a boss ? Rubbing a piece of shrimp bruschetta with a garlic clove until disintegrated. I am the self proclaimed queen of bruschetta, crostini and grilled cheese panini. I’m good at other things too, but the bruschetta game kids, I dominate it. You name it, I make it happen !
Okay, so it’s not rocket science, but still, you need to achieve that perfect balance of crunchy and soft. Garlic and sweetness, it’s gotta work together. Especially If you are also serving guests. In which case is always best to set up a shrimp bruschetta bar so people can create their own fun little crostino bites.
As I’m sure I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again: make sure to get your bread grilled right. You want nice grill marks with a crispy exterior, but still a soft chewy middle. Which means we must grill them quick, on a preferably super hot grill pan. Otherwise, If you add your bread to a less than hot skillet, by the time you achieve those perfect grill marks, the inside will be hard as a rock. You don’t want to do that.
Let’s talk about that gorgeous shrimp for a moment. I agree that it would be cuter with the tails on, but in reality you want to keep it simple and easy. Two bites and you are done. You really don’t want your guests having to work through the shrimp tails, but If you really want to, then go ahead, don’t say I didn’t tell you.
Freshness is the key to these shrimp bruschetta or crostini, whatever you decide to call them. Same thing really just different sizes. Crostini means small, miniature versions of bruschetta. Your call tough, I don’t wanna argue about this with you 😉
You will also need fresh tomatoes, heirlooms If possible. I picked my first cherry tomatoes of the year a few days ago. I know, how exciting ! My basil and strawberries are showing off too. Planting a little garden pays off big time.
Bottom line is, If you love garlic, and shrimp, and bread, and tomatoes, this wild shrimp bruschetta right here is for you.
Use a fresh crusty baguette to make the crostini, or a fresh ciabatta to make shrimp bruschetta. Ideally, find shrimp large enough where you only need to use one or two per slice of bruschetta or crostini. Makes eating it easier and more enjoyable.
Oh, one more thing, very important. NO cheese on the shrimp bruschetta or crostini , never, ever, ever, we just don’t do that, Per Favore ! ( <— insert Italian hand gesture)
- 8 slices of ciabatta or baguette 3/4 inch thick
- 8 large shrimp wild caught at room temperature
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp sweet paprika
- 1/4 tsp sea salt + more to taste
- 1 c large heirloom tomato diced or 1 mixed cherry tomatoes
- 1 lemon cut into wedges
- 3 leaves basil sprigs + blossoms only
- 1/3 c extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic whole
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes or to your taste
- freshly cracked black pepper to taste
In a small bowl combine the diced tomato, a drizzle of olive oil, sea salt and the minced garlic. Adjust seasonings to your taste and set aside.
Preheat your cast iron grill skillet until hot. Add the bread to the hot plate and briefly grill it until nice charred marks form on both sides. Transfer to a cutting/serving board.
Remove the garlic clove out of its paper and rub each slice of bread to your desired pungency. Brush one side of each slice of bread with some of the olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt. Set aside.
Meanwhile in a small bowl drizzle the shrimp with a lug of oil and season well with the sea salt, garlic powder and sweet paprika. Grill it on the hot cast iron pan for about a minute on each side, until the shrimp turns pink and curls up, and nice grill marks have formed. Remove from heat.
Top each of the garlic bruschetta or crostini with one shrimp and spoon the tomato garlic mixture all over the top. Finish with a nice squeeze of the lemon all over and garnish with the basil leaves. Sprinkle with the red pepper flakes for added heat, and a nice sprinkling of freshly cracked black peppers.
You can make these garlic bruschetta or crostini vegetarian or vegan, by simply leaving out the shrimp. It’s that easy !