- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Sometimes a little imagination can mean the difference between a so-so meal and a special one. Daydreaming about a trip to a Greek island could lead to a culinary inspiration involving fresh mushrooms and shrimp bathed in a marinade with the sun-drenched flavors of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and oregano.The dish can become reality in a matter of minutes, no travel time needed. In the following recipe, the mushroom-shrimp mixture is grilled, then piled on a warm pita and served with a refreshing cucumber-yogurt sauce laced with mint and garlic.

Grilled lemon shrimp and mushrooms

The preparation time is 15 minutes, and the cooking time is 8 minutes.

8 ounces fresh white mushrooms

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 medium-sized zucchini, sliced 1 inch thick (about 2½ cups)

1 medium-sized red onion cut in 8 wedges

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed

½ teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

4 pitas, warmed

Cucumber yogurt sauce (recipe follows)

Preheat outdoor grill or broiler until hot. Leave small mushrooms whole; halve larger ones. Place mushrooms, shrimp, zucchini and red onion in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, salt and black pepper, and pour over vegetables; toss until well-coated.

Place vegetables and shrimp on a vegetable grilling rack or a rack in a broiler pan. Grill or broil no more than 6 inches from heat source until vegetables and shrimp are just cooked, about 8 minutes, stirring often and brushing occasionally with remaining marinade. Serve on pitas with cucumber yogurt sauce. Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 308 calories, 25 g protein, 16 g fat.

CUCUMBER YOGURT SAUCE:

1 cup plain low-fat yogurt

1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced

1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint or parsley

1 teaspoon minced garlic

½ teaspoon salt

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and blend well.

Makes about 1½ cups.

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