Chargrilled Seafood with Lemon Aioli and Romesco

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Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 6 to 8

Piled high with a medley of grilled seafood, this platter will make an impressive presentation when you’re hosting a get-together. We serve it with two sauces—a lemony aioli plus romesco, the classic Spanish sauce made with almonds and roasted red bell peppers. If you are using wooden or bamboo skewers, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes before threading the seafood onto them to keep them from burning on the grill.


For the lemon aioli:

  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) grapeseed or canola oil
  • 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs. water

For the romesco:

  • 1/3 cup (1 3/4 oz./55 g) blanched almonds, lightly toasted
  • 4 jarred roasted red bell peppers, drained and coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbs. sherry vinegar
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup (2 to 4 fl. oz./60 to 125 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

For the seafood:

  • 3/4 cup (6 fl. oz./180 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 Tbs. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 4 lb. (2 kg) assorted seafood, such as squid, unpeeled shrimp, scallops, lobster tails, mussels and clams
  • 2 lemons, halved crosswise
  • Kosher salt


To prepare the lemon aioli, in a food processor, combine the garlic, egg yolks, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. With the processer running, add the grapeseed and olive oils in a slow, steady stream, stopping occasionally to make sure the mixture is thoroughly emulsified before continuing to add the oil. Continue to process until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Add the lemon juice and water and process until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a small serving bowl and set aside. Wash and dry the processor bowl.

To prepare the romesco, in the food processor, combine the almonds, roasted red bell peppers, garlic, vinegar, paprika, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper and process until the mixture is coarsely chopped. With the processor running, slowly add 1/4 cup of the olive oil and process until thoroughly combined. With the processor running, add up to 1/4 cup more olive oil until the mixture is a thick but pourable consistency. The romesco should be smooth but still have some texture. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed. Transfer to a small serving bowl and set aside.

To prepare the seafood, in a large bowl, stir together the olive oil, garlic and parsley. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish that is just large enough to fit your skewers.  

If using squid, separate the tentacles from the bodies and cut the bodies into 1 1/2-inch (4-cm) rings. Thread the squid, shrimp and scallops onto skewers. (This will make it easier to turn them while they are on the grill.)

Add all of the seafood to the marinade and toss to coat. Let stand for 20 minutes.

Heat a stovetop grill pan over high heat, or prepare a hot fire in a grill. Lightly grease the pan or grill grates.  

Working in batches as needed, add the seafood and cook until the squid is curled up and lightly charred, about 3 minutes, the flesh of the shellfish is opaque, about 5 minutes, and the mussels and clams open completely, about 8 minutes (discard any that did not open). Grill the lemons, cut side down, until lightly charred, about 3 minutes.

Transfer the seafood and lemons to a serving platter and sprinkle with parsley and salt. Serve with the lemon aioli and romesco. Serves 6 to 8.

Recipe inspired by Aerin Lauder in collaboration with the Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen

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