One of our annual summer traditions is to take a picnic dinner, bottle of wine, and big blanket downtown for Madison’s Concerts on the Square–a series of weekly concerts by the symphony orchestra. Everyone flocks to the grassy lawn surrounding the state capitol to enjoy some time unplugged with family and friends, and it’s an incredible sight to see locals of all ages out for the evening. Last night we decided to break Elsie’s bedtime and take a midweek break for her first concert experience, and I quickly whipped together this fresh, healthy summer dinner to take along. It was easy and quick to make…I just grabbed some in-season ingredients from the grocery store and threw them together. This is easily one of my new favorite summer meals and would also work well for entertaining. You can grill the shrimp or simply stir fry it in a pan instead, either works.
1/2 a shallot, minced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 pint of sweet cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons of basil, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and coarse-ground black pepper
1. Do ahead: Soak wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes (if using).
2. Place shrimp in a bowl and season well with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and oregano. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to combine. Thread shrimp onto skewers, if grilling. Set aside.
3. Heat a grill to medium-high heat. Place corn on the grill and cover, turning occasionally until the corn is charred on all sides, about 10 minutes. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then use a knife to cut the kernels off each husk.
4. Cook green beans in a large pan filled with an inch of water, covered, about 4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain green beans into a colander and rinse with very cold water to stop the cooking process, tossing to make sure all beans get cooled. Drain well.
5. Reheat the pan used to cook the green beans. Drizzle with olive oil and quickly brown the minced shallot and garlic, just a minute or two. Add the green beans and stir well, coating with the shallot and garlic and warming (but not cooking) for a minute or so. Transfer green beans to a bowl or platter.
6. Toss the halved cherry tomatoes into the same pan used to cook the green beans. Cook over medium-high heat for a few minutes, tossing occasionally, just until the tomatoes are warmed and start to soften. Add to the bowl of green beans.
7. Meanwhile, cook shrimp over medium-high heat, whether on the grill or on the stovetop. Turn once, until shrimp turn pink. If skewered, remove shrimp from skewers once cooked.
8. Add the grilled corn and shrimp to the green beans and tomatoes. Sprinkle with fresh basil and finish with freshly ground black pepper and salt.