Summer Pickled Shrimp

When summer is a three-digit word, it’s time to get serious about quick-cooking, cool platters of food. We’re talking lightly dressed greens, frosty glasses of gazpacho, and chilled slices of melon. For something with a little more substance, we like a big platter of charcuterie or these pickled shrimp – they taste just like a salty sea breeze. Cook them ahead of time in the cool of the evening for tomorrow’s dinner, and you won’t have to turn on a single appliance when you’re ready to eat.


  • 2 pounds peeled and cleaned shrimp
  • 1 box shrimp and crab boil (sachet, not the liquid)
  • 2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2/3 cup grape-seed, canola, or light olive oil
  • 1 tsp celery seeds
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp cayenne
  • 1 yellow or white onion, very thinly sliced
  • 6-8 bay leaves
  • 1 lemon, very thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup capers


Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil along with shrimp boil sachet. Add shrimp to boiling pot and cook until just done. Don’t overcook – rubbery shrimp is no one’s idea of a good time! Drain the shrimp and set aside to cool.

Whisk together the oil, vinegar, celery seeds, mustard seeds, sugar, salt and cayenne until sugar and salt dissolve.

In a large jar or tall glass or ceramic crock, layer the cooled shrimp, onion slices, lemon slices, bay leaves, and capers. Pour the vinegar and oil mixture over everything, then cover and leave to marinate overnight. Serve with saltine crackers and cold beer!

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