Spedini are little Italian skewers that are grilled and usually served with a dipping sauce. The word Spiedini comes from the Italian word Spiedo, which means spit – Spiedini means “little spits”. These spedini are perfect for a casual weekend party and can be grilled on a barbecue or cooked on a griddle pan on your stove. The Salsa Verde dipping sauce is simple and bright, and comes together in a few minutes in a blender. If you don’t have a blender, or want a chunkier version of salsa verde, just finely chop the ingredients and mix them together in a bowl. If you have any left over, use it as a marinade for chicken or fish.
Total Time: 45 minutes
Serves 10 as an hors d’oeuvre or side dish
40 medium peeled and deveined shrimp
1 teaspoon packed lemon zest
½ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon pepper
2 16-oz jars sweet Italian cherry peppers, cut in half horizontally, stems left intact
Chopped parsley leaves for garnish
20 bamboo skewers (I used 6-inch skewers)
½ cup packed flat leaf parsley leaves
½ cup packed basil leaves
¼ cup packed mint leaves
1 tablespoon roughly chopped oregano leaves
¾ cup olive oil
1 large garlic clove, roughly chopped
½ teaspoon anchovy paste
1 tablespoon capers
¼ cup chopped scallions – white and green parts
¼ cup lemon juice
Pinch of red chili flakes
½ teaspoon pepper
Whisk the lemon zest, olive oil, salt and pepper together in a bowl. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Place the cut cherry peppers and skewers near the shrimp. Skewer two shrimp and two halves of cherry peppers on each skewer, alternating. Set on a baking sheet and repeat with remaining skewers.
Heat your grill or grill pan over medium-high heat and brush generously with olive oil. Once hot, grill the spedini for 2 to 3 minutes per side, 5 to 6 minutes total. Don’t move the spedini once they have been placed on the grill to ensure nice grill marks and even cooking. The shrimp should be pink throughout when fully cooked. Transfer the spedini to a serving platter.
Put all of the ingredients into a blender and pulse until mixture is well blended, like a smooth salsa. If the mixture is too thick, add an extra squeeze of lemon and a splash of olive oil.
Sprinkle the spedini with chopped parsley and serve with the dipping sauce on the side.