Salt-Roasted Shrimp with Parsley Butter




Our boat adventure last weekend ended with a bucket full of shrimp! We went with our friends and their kids to the river to catch as many as we could.

Near the inlet of the St. John’s River in Florida is a place where the fresh water meets the sea. This time of year, the shrimp run is underway. From the end of July to the end of September, brown and white shrimp migrate from their inland nursery to their offshore spawning grounds. Boats gather to cast nets in the water to catch them.


{Our friend Pat, with a white shrimp.}


A big cast net with weights on the bottom is thrown off the side of the boat. Once it sinks to the bottom, it’s hoisted back up. Hopefully there will be shrimp caught in the net. Sometimes you get 15-30, other times there’s nothing there. The shrimp that are caught undulate and flip all over the boat. We keep the big ones, and throw them in a bucket full of water.


(I would have taken more pictures of the cast-net process, but some SUPER CUTE kids were distracting this photographer, so I came back with way more pictures of kids than shrimp. Next time.)

Our friend Sally told us about this recipe. It’s really simple, and if you don’t have to catch them yourself, it takes all of 15 minutes to prepare. I got the recipe off of Epicurious.


1/2 box rock salt
1 lb unpeeled large shrimp
1/3 c dry white wine
2 T fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 c butter, chilled
1 T parsley


Heat the oven to 500 degrees. Spread half the salt on a baking dish until the bottom of the dish is covered. (You can use a glass 13 x 9″ pan.) Arrange the shrimp in a single layer on the top of the salt. Next, boil the wine, lemon juice, and garlic in a saucepan over medium-high heat until liquid is reduced to 1 tablespoon, or about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add a few pieces of butter; whisk until creamy. Return pan to low heat. Add a few more pieces of butter; whisk until smooth (do not let mixture boil). Continue whisking in butter, a few pieces at a time. Stir in parsley; season with salt and pepper. Let stand while shrimp cook.

Roast shrimp on salt until just opaque in center and shells are pink, about 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer sauce to bowl. Serve the shrimp in another plate nestled in the rest of the rock salt. Dip the shrimp in the sauce once it’s peeled.

We brought them to a potluck where they were appreciated and devoured by all.



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