Shrimp Pizzas with Bell Peppers & Basil

Here’s a little recipe bonus for you — a little som’thin som’thin’ to help facilitate a festive mood this weekend!

Appetizers. I’m all about appetizers. I adore them. Love to make them, love to munch them. And I’m here to share the love, my friends. Shall we begin?

A few years ago I attended a holiday cooking class at my friend Ann’s house. While we did learn how to make several fabulous appetizers that evening, I think Ann’s hosting an evening of ‘cooking instruction’ was mostly a thin disguise for what it really was: an occasion for a fun group of thirsty ladies to gather around her island and sip far too much wine until far too late on a school night!

My big take-away from that evening at Ann’s (besides not feeling so swell the next day) was the recipe for these little shrimp pizzas. They’ve become an old standby for me throughout the past few years. They’re unbelievably simple to prepare, and I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like them!

(Actually, that’s not true. My friend Amy isn’t a fan. But then again, Amy’s motto regarding food in general is, “the blander the better”. Hmmpf.)

With the exception of the fresh red and yellow bell peppers, most of the ingredients for this recipe can be kept in your fridge, pantry, or freezer. If you have them on hand throughout the holidays, you’ll never be at a loss for a terrific appetizer to whip up in a skinny minute!

Happy weekend, everyone.


Makes 2 dozen

Source: Chef Katherine Ward

  • 6 small flour tortillas
  • 12 large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced small
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced small
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 tube of garlic paste (find this in a small box on the top shelf, above the canned tomatoes)
  • 1 c. grated asiago cheese
  • ½ c. slivered basil, plus additional sprigs for garnish if desired

Preheat oven to 425. Place the diced peppers in a small mixing bowl, drizzle with the olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Toss to blend. Spread peppers evenly on a cookie sheet with sides. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the peppers are beginning to blacken just slightly around the edges. Remove from oven and set aside.

Meanwhile, pat the shrimp dry with paper towels. Place the shrimp on their sides, and using a sharp knife, cut the shrimp horizontally in half. Set aside.

Spread the flour tortillas on a large cookie sheet. Squeeze a dollop (1/2 a tablespoon or so) of garlic paste on each tortilla, use a small knife or spatula to spread the garlic paste evenly on the tortillas. One by one, divide the asiago cheese among the tortillas. Repeat with the roasted peppers. Top the pizzas with the sliced shrimp, cut side down, four slices per tortilla. Sprinkle pizzas with salt and pepper.

Bake the pizzas for 10 minutes, or until shrimp are pink and tortillas are lightly browned and crisp around the edges.

Remove from oven and transfer to a cutting board. Scatter the slivered basil among the pizzas. Using a sharp knife, cut each tortilla into quarters. Transfer to a pretty platter and garnish with basil sprigs.

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous | November 21st, 2009