Grilled Garlic Shrimp and Quinoa-Mango Salad

“People don’t change,” said Beauvoir, squashing his burger and watching the juices ooze out.

Chief Justice Pineault and Suzanne had left, walking over to the B and B. And now, finally, Inspector Beauvoir could discuss murder, in peace.

“You think not?” asked Gamache. On his plate were grilled garlic shrimp and quinoa-mango salad. The barbeque was working overtime for the hungry lunch crowd, producing char-grilled steaks and burgers, shrimp, and salmon.

“They might seem to,” said Beauvoir, picking his burger up, “but if you were a nasty piece of work growing up, you’ll be an asshole as an adult and you’ll die pissed off.

He took a bite. Where once this burger, with bacon and mushrooms, caramelized onions, and melting blue cheese, would have sent him into raptures, now it left him feeling slightly queasy. Still, he forced himself to eat, to appease Gamache . . . .

Across the table Chief Inspector Gamache took a forkful of grilled garlic shrimp and the quinoa-mango salad with genuine enjoyment . . . .

This was Beauvoir’s favorite part of an investigation. Not the food, though in Three Pines that was never a hardship. He could remember other cases, in other places, when he and the Chief had gone days with barely anything to eat, or shared cold canned peas and Spam. Even that, he had to admit, had been fun. In retrospect.

But this little village produced bodies and gourmet meals in equal proportion.

—A Trick of the Light

Grilled Garlic Shrimp and Quinoa-Mango Salad

Makes 4 servings

  • 1 pound (450 g) medium shrimp (about 24 per pound/half kilo), shelled and deveined
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or a blend of 1 tablespoon each olive and sesame oil)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ cup (128 g) quinoa
  • 1¼ cups (300 ml) cold water
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro or scallions
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil or olive oil
  • 1 ripe mango, peeled, pit removed, and flesh cut into ¾ x ¼-inch (2 x .5-cm) matchsticks
  • ¼ cup (23 g) toasted sliced almonds *
  • Lime wedges, for serving (optional)

Toss the shrimp, minced garlic, olive oil, (or olive oil sesame oil blend, if using) together in a bowl. Season generously with salt and pepper and toss again. The shrimp may be marinated up to several hours before cooking. Cover and refrigerate.

Place the quinoa in a sieve and rinse thoroughly under cold running water for at least 3 minutes. Drain. Bring the 1¼ cups water and a large pinch of sea salt to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in the quinoa and return to a boil. Stir once thoroughly, then reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Cover the pan and cook for 18 minutes.

While the quinoa is cooking, stir the lime juice, cilantro or scallions, and the 2 tablespoons of sesame or olive oil together in a serving bowl. Add the mango and let stand, tossing once or twice while the shrimp cook.

When the quinoa is cooked, remove it from the heat and uncover it. Fluff a few times with a fork.

Thread 3 shrimp onto each of 8 short (5- to 6-inch/13- to 15-cm) skewers. Preheat a grill pan or large heavy skillet (cast iron is ideal for either type of pan) over medium-high heat. Lay the shrimp into the hot pan and cook, turning once, until they are cooked through, about 4 minutes.

Stir the still-warm quinoa into the dressed mango and toss well. Add more salt and/or pepper if needed. Pile some of the salad in the center of four salad plates. Scatter the almonds over the salad, and arrange the shrimp skewers around the salad. Pass extra lime wedges if you like.

* To toast sliced almonds: Preheat an oven to 350°F (177°C). Spread the almonds out on a baking sheet and bake, stirring around once, until lightly toasted, about 10 minutes.

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Discussion on “Grilled Garlic Shrimp and Quinoa-Mango Salad

  1. Penny Beal says:

    just love the chance to really “dive into” the books and chow down..:)

  2. Carol Drew says:

    Sounds delicious, agree it’s time they had some healthy food, couldn’t bear it if Gamache was to have a heart attack!
    Can’t wait to try this myself, just love the descriptive passages about the food.
    .

  3. Anna says:

    All the food is wonderful in the books. I did laugh when I thought of Louise trying to feeder characters healthy food. If that isn’t a sign that Three Piners are real people I don’t know what is.
    Not long until the next book so hang in there everyone.

    Paul…if you are about…there is a major problem in the Bistro. My last posts worked but no-one else seems able to add anything. Any thoughts?

  4. Linda says:

    But this little village produced bodies and gourmet meals in equal proportion.

    Love this description!

    Also love quinoa salads.

  5. Elina Mavromatis says:

    Not sure which is more luscious…the recipes or the characters! Delicious mix!

  6. Laurie Bartels says:

    A friend and I are making a 60th birthday celebratory car trip to Montreal JUST to walk in the steps of Louise Penny’s wonderful characters. Of course we are stopping at THE BOOKSTORE. If there was a B&B (in our price range) or a place to go for Bistro meals such as these…

    And how delightfully convenient that on our return we will be stopping in Burlington, VT for the late July book signing of a paperback release and we will get to meet and hear Louise in person! Her newsletters are wonderful to read; always feel she is talking to me.

    As for this meal, it’s on our home menu for next week, and I’m thinking it might make the perfect meal to pack for our on-the-way lunch when we head to Montreal in July.

  7. Mimi says:

    I made this for dinner tonight – absolutely delicious!!! Thanks so much for a great recipe and thank you, thank you for giving us all of the wonderful characters who inhabit Three Pines. Anxiously anticipating the next book…

  8. Joan Fraser says:

    Could I arrange to be sent these recipes every two weeks, or when they are released? I have just become aware of this site although I receive emails from Louise when she sends them out (e.g. Michael’s sister passed away).

  9. Lauren Montague says:

    We made this tonight for a light summer dinner and it was fantastic! I’m enjoying these recipes -we always joke that we don’t serve mashed potatoes anymore – we serve Gamache potatoes!

    Keep the recipes coming!

  10. jim hotaling says:

    Do you use shrimp already cooked ?

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