I have never been to Greece. Well, I’ve never physically been to Greece.
I sometimes go to Greece when I’m jam packed on a crowded subway, drifting off to sleep, or my extra-friendly neighbor is telling me about her cat’s sleeping habits for the third time that week (Let’s keep that last one between us).
This simple and delicious dish is a take on the Greek classic, Shrimp Saganaki. It comes together in under 30 minutes and has all of the freshness and complexity you could ask for. Juicy tomatoes, herbaceous fennel, and sweet shrimp are enveloped in a creamy sauce that appears instantly when salty feta hits the pan.
With such few ingredients, again, buy the best you can afford. Wild shrimp and good Bulgarian or Greek feta make this dish what it is, so they are worth the slight investment.
A simple, lemony green salad and crusty bread round out this meal perfectly. This is a healthy, flavorful dinner that you will return to again and again.
For today, as Greece remains a soul mate I have yet to meet… a destiny not yet fulfilled, I’ll settle for taking my Greece in my kitchen.
Weeknight Shrimp Sauté with Fennel, Tomatoes, and Greek Feta
Adapted from The Newlywed Cookbook, by Sarah Copeland
1 ½ lb peeled, butterflied, and deveined large shrimp
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 large bulb fennel, thinly sliced
6 plum tomatoes, chopped
3 oz. Bulgarian or Greek feta
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan until shimmering. Add the fennel and cook over medium-high heat until soft, stirring occasionally, about 5-7 minutes. Add the tomatoes, salt, and red pepper flakes and cook until the tomatoes are soft and start to release their juices, about 5 more minutes. Add the shellfish and cook, storring occasionally until they are pink throughout, about 3 minutes. Add most of the feta and stir to melt slightly, about 2 minutes.
Transfer to shallow bowls and top with the remaining feta and chopped parsley. Season with freshly ground black pepper, and serve.