Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro Pesto


Cilantro Pesto

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 to 2 serrano chiles, stemmed
  • 2 cups cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds (or pine nuts) toasted in a 350 degrees F oven for 5 to 7 minutes
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 ounces mild goat cheese
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil


  • 2 pounds medium-size shrimp
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Lime juice
  • Red pepper flakes, optional
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For serving

  • Flour or corn tortillas
  • 2 to 3 avocados, sliced, optional
  • Salsa


  1. To make cilantro pesto, puree garlic, chiles, cilantro, pumpkin seeds (or pine nuts), Parmesan cheese, goat cheese and oil in a blender until mixture is a smooth paste. Pour into a serving bowl. Pesto can be made a day ahead, covered and refrigerated until needed.
  2. Peel and devein shrimp and place in a resealable baggie or a nonreactive dish.
  3. Mix olive oil and lime juice together with pepper flakes and pour over shrimp. Marinate for 15 minutes, then salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Shrimp can be threaded on skewers and grilled over medium coals for 3 to 4 minutes per side.
  5. To cook shrimp in a skillet, add 1 to 2 teaspoons oil to skillet and heat. Add shrimp and cook just until done, when shrimp appear opaque and not translucent.
  6. Remove from heat, place on a serving platter and set aside.
  7. Warm tortillas in oven or microwave.
  8. Serve platter of shrimp, along with tortillas and bowls of cilantro pesto, avocado and salsa.
  9. Allow guests to assemble their own tacos.

Yield: 6 servings

For dessert, serve crumbled pralines over vanilla ice cream.

Source: What's Cooking San Antonio? by Pat Mozersky