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Grilled Prawns with Pistou

For a dramatic starter, toss head-on prawns with our French interpretation of pesto: basil, parsley, anchovies, almonds, oil, garlic, and seasonings.

  • Servings: 4

Source: Martha Stewart Living, August 2005


  • 1/4 cup whole raw almonds
  • 2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 12 anchovy fillets, rinsed
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Zest of 1 lemon, plus lemon wedges for serving
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 12 prawns, shells and heads intact


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast almonds on a rimmed baking sheet in oven, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely; coarsely chop.

  2. Process almonds, basil, parsley, anchovies, and garlic in a food processor until combined. Add oil in a slow, steady stream, and process until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in lemon zest; season with salt and pepper. Reserve 1/4 cup pistou for dipping.

  3. Heat a grill to medium-high (if using a charcoal grill, coals are ready when you can hold your hand 5 inches above grate for just 3 to 4 seconds). Toss prawns with remaining pistou. Grill, turning once, until cooked through, about 2 1/2 minutes per side; season with salt and pepper. Serve with lemon wedges and reserved pistou for dipping.

Cook's Notes

You can substitute one pound of large shrimp with shells for the prawns.

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