Saganaki is a traditional Greek dish with sweet, briny shrimp covered with a garlic- and herb-accented tomato sauce, and topped with crumbles of creamy, salty feta cheese. This version hails from America’s Test Kitchen (ATK) “The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook.”
This recipe works equally well with jumbo (16 to 20 per pound) or extra-large (21 to 25 per pound) shrimp, but the cooking times in step 3 will vary slightly depending on which you use. The base for the sauce is provided by canned diced tomatoes along with sautéed onions and garlic. Dry white wine adds acidity, and ouzo brings welcome complexity with its slightly sweet anise flavor.
*Since ouzo is not in everyone’s liquor cabinet (it wasn’t in ours—but is now), here are two alternatives: Pernod—Though slightly sweeter than ouzo, this French anise-flavored liqueur is the next best thing. Or use a combo of Vodka + Anise Seed, with one tablespoon of vodka plus 1/8 teaspoon of anise seed to equal 1 tablespoon of ouzo.
Serve the shrimp with crusty bread or steamed white rice.
Greek-Style Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta
- 1 ½ lbs. shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails left on, if desired
- 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 Tbsp. ouzo (*see note above)
- 5 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 5 tsp.)
- 1 tsp. grated zest from 1 lemon
- Table salt and ground black pepper
- 1 small onion, diced medium (about 3/4 cup)
- 1 medium red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced medium
- ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 28-oz. can diced tomato, drained, 1/3 cup juices reserved
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 2 Tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 6 oz. feta cheese, crumbled (about 1½ cups)
- 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill leaves
- Toss shrimp, 1 tablespoon oil, 1 tablespoon ouzo, 1 teaspoon garlic, lemon zest, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper in small bowl until well combined. Set aside while preparing sauce.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion, red and green bell pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and stir to combine. Cover skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables release their moisture, 3 to 5 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until moisture cooks off and vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes longer.
- Add remaining 4 teaspoons garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add tomatoes and reserved juice, wine, and remaining 2 tablespoons ouzo; increase heat to medium-high and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until flavors have melded and sauce is slightly thickened (sauce should not be completely dry), 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and add shrimp along with any accumulated liquid to pan; stir to coat and distribute evenly. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are opaque throughout, 6 to 9 minutes for extra-large or 7 to 11 minutes for jumbo, adjusting heat as needed to maintain bare simmer.
- Remove pan from heat and sprinkle evenly with feta. Drizzle remaining tablespoon oil evenly over top and sprinkle with dill. Serve immediately.
Adapted from a recipe for America’s Test Kitchen