Shrimp Saganaki Recipe

Shrimp Saganaki Recipe

[Photographs: Yasmin Fahr]

When I visited Greece about five or six years ago, a few people (separately) told me, "Ugh, the food is awful in Greece." I couldn't really see how that was possible considering that Greek feta has a PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) and that's where Greek salads came from (I'm slightly obsessed with feta). They were wrong; I thought the food was great. In fact, I ate a Greek salad twice a day during my trip, along with a host of other foods. One of them being Shrimp Saganaki.

The name comes from the two-handled dish it's typically cooked in, but, for our purposes, a 12-inch skillet works just fine. Feel free to use fresh tomatoes when in season, and, while I served this dish with crusty bread, you can serve it with orzo or pasta if desired. I personally prefer Bulgarian feta that's in a brine because it tends to be creamier and slightly saltier than Greek feta, but it would seem appropriate to use Greek feta for a Greek dish (even though I didn't).

Add an extra pinch or two of chile flakes if you prefer an even spicier tomato sauce.

  • Yield:serves 4
  • Active time: 30 minutes
  • Total time:30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, minced or grated with a Microplane (about 4 teaspoons)
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano, plus more for garnish
  • ½ tablespoon dried red chile flakes
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes, roughly chopped, juice reserved
  • 20 large peeled and deveined shrimp (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 cups crumbled feta
  • Crusty bread, for serving

Directions

  1. 1.

    Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring until they soften, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano, and chili flakes and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and their juice.

  2. 2.

    As the tomatoes soften, break them up with a potato masher or wooden spoon. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes come to a boil. Lower thheat to maintain a bare simmer and cook for 20 minutes, adding up to 1/2 cup water is sauce becomes too thick.

  3. 3.

    Add the shrimp and 1 ½ cups of the feta, stirring to combine. Cook until the shrimp are barely cooked through, about 3 minutes. Place in serving bowls and top with the remaining feta and a pinch of oregano. Serve immediately with bread.