Wherever you are in Greece, some sort of body of water is likely to be near. Unsurprisingly, seafood is a common ingredient in many dishes. This particular one marries a few traditional Greek flavors into one hearty, tasty, lick-the-bowl-clean meal.
The proper name is Garides Saganaki. Garides (ga-REE-thes) means shrimp, and saganaki refers to the copper pot it would typically be prepared in. There are actually a couple of ways that Garides Saganaki can be prepared, but both start off the same: onions and garlic sautéed in olive oil, simmered juicy tomatoes, fresh shrimp cooked just until done, and all topped with crumbled feta. How it ends is up to you.
My mom would make this on occasion and she would finish it up in the oven. I have developed a preference for the stovetop method, as it gives a more soup-like consistency, just perfect for bread dipping. I also add scallops, just for kicks. Either way, it is an easy dish that will have everyone asking for seconds.
Garides Saganaki (Shrimp with Tomatoes & Feta) Recipe:
- 3-4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion or 2 large shallots, chopped
- 4-5 cloves garlic, chopped fine
- 3 cups chopped fresh tomatoes, or 2 15 oz. cans diced tomatoes with juice
- 1 cup dry white wine (cheap jug-o-wine is my favorite)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, or 2 Tbsp. dried parsley
- pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 lb. fresh shrimp, or defrosted frozen shrimp
- 1/4 lb. scallops (optional), fresh or frozen and defrosted, cut into bite size pieces if they are large
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta
- salt and pepper to taste (not much salt is needed with the feta, especially if using canned tomatoes; I actually don’t add any)
Preheat oven to 400 F if finishing in the oven.
Put olive oil in a deep sauce pan with chopped onions or shallots. Turn stove to high until onions start to sizzle and turn down to medium-low heat. Sautee onions until translucent, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook for just a few minutes more.
Add tomatoes, wine, parsley, and red pepper flakes. Raise the heat a little and cook until the liquids have mostly evaporated. Add shrimp and scallops (if using), and cook until the shrimp begins to turn pink and firm up, about 5 minutes.
To finish in the oven, which is the more traditional method, place the contents of the pan into an oven safe dish large enough for the shrimp to be spread out, and bake at 400 F for another 10 minutes. Sprinkle the feta over the top of the shrimp and bake for another 2-3 minutes until the feta is melted. This will make a thicker sauce perfect for serving on top of bread (try my whole-wheat sourdough) or even rice or pasta.
To finish on the stove, cover the pot after the shellfish is added and cook until the shrimp is just firm, about 5 minutes. Remove the lid and cook a few more minutes to allow the sauce to thicken a little. Remove from the heat and add the feta. Cover again just until the feta has melted. This will make a thinner sauce perfect for eating like a soup. Serve with a hearty bread like my whole-wheat sourdough to soak up the tasty juices!