Spain designated the third Thursday in June as World Tapas Day as an international celebration of its small plates. According to their website, this day is “dedicated to celebrating this very special type of ‘mini-cuisine’ traditional from Spain, tapas aren’t only about the delicious food, but about ‘tasting the moment’ while sharing it with your favorite people.” We are definitely on board with that!

In celebration of World Tapas Day, we are featuring a Shrimp al Ajillo recipe created by Executive Chef Nicolas Lebas at Castile Restaurant, one of our favorite spots in St. Pete Beach.

Want more? Keep your eyes peeled next month for the July/August edition of LocalsDISH featuring an in-depth one-on-one interview revealing Chef Nic’s story.

How will you celebrate World Tapas Day?

Shrimp al Ajillo

Ajillo Sauce
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. chopped garlic
1 pinch crushed red pepper
1 pinch chopped parsley

In a hot sauté pan, add all ingredients and cook for 1 minute at medium heat until garlic is golden brown. Serve with shrimp.

12 U10 shrimp
3 oz. garlic paste
3 oz. tomato jam
3 oz. heirloom tomato, peeled
1 pinch Maldon salt
½ oz. frisée
½ oz. pickled onion
1 baguette slice

Shrimp marinate
1 oz. olive oil
1 oz. thyme/rosemary

Peel and devein the shrimp. Marinate in olive oil and thyme and rosemary, overnight. Grill 3 shrimp on both sides and reserve. In a sauté pan, add a splash of olive oil, butter, chopped garlic, red crushed pepper, and chopped parsley. Cook for 1 minute and add the shrimp to the olive oil/butter mixture (Ajillo sauce). Grill a slice of baguette, spread with tomato jam and place the shrimp on top of the bread. Garnish with some frisée, pickled red onion and peeled heirloom tomato. Spread some garlic paste on the plate to garnish and serve.