Season calls for shrimp, pesto rolls

Posted Jan. 29, 2010, at 7:47 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:49 a.m.

This is the time of year when we see tiny Maine shrimp for sale by the side of the road up and down the coast and in the stores, too. This year the shrimp season has been extended to the end of May because there are enough of them to warrant it. I like this shrimp and finally concluded it is worth my while to buy it already peeled because I’ve just plain run out of patience with pulling the heads off the prickly little things. Our cold Maine water makes these shrimp very sweet. And they can be considered practically a fast food because all you need is a minute in boiling water.

It astonishes me how cheap imported shrimp is. It is true that one of those big ones already peeled and dumped out of a big bag for dunking into cocktail sauce or even grilling has a certain appeal. Still I’ve decided that I’ll stick with the local ones and rest with an easier conscience about mangrove swamps in distant parts of the world that have been torn up to make room for shrimp farms, leaving Asian coastlines in peril of flooding.

I bumped into this recipe over the recent holidays served as a hot hors d’oeuvre. I suppose this also might make a nice adjunct to a soup or salad for supper or lunch. You can use our Maine shrimp in it or shrimp from away. If you buy fresh shrimp, dunk it in salted boiling water for only a minute and drain it quickly. You’ll want to dry it a bit on a paper towel before putting it into the roll.

The recipe also calls for pesto, which for some reason or another my husband, Jamie, is very fond of making out of our own basil and of which we often have a great plenty in the freezer. It is easy to find in stores. If you don’t usually make it, add basil to your seed order and try putting up some next summer. Next is cheese, and a nice melty sort is in order, like Jack cheese. The puff pastry I buy. My life is too short to make puff pastry from scratch but if you want to, more power and a gold star to you.

Send queries or answers to Sandy Oliver, 1061 Main Road, Islesboro 04848. E-mail: tastebuds@prexar.com. For recipes, tell us where they came from. List ingredients, specify number of servings, and do not abbreviate measurements. Include name, address and daytime phone number.

Shrimp and Pesto Rolls

1 package puff pastry, 2 sheets

10 ounces shrimp, cleaned and boiled

4 to 6 tablespoons pesto

½ cup grated cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Open the puff pastry sheets out and spread the pesto over the surface. Arrange shrimp across the middle of the pastry slices, and sprinkle the cheese all over the shrimp and pesto-covered pastry. Fold over to cover shrimp, dampen the very edges, and pinch them shut. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes reducing the oven to 400 after the first 15. Slice to serve.

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