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
- 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
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.
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.
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.