|15 Minute Greek Baked Shrimp with Feta|
Opa! It is time to celebrate Greece. 1976 found me there. Our family started in Israel to celebrate my brother’s Bar Mitzvah. After touring Israel we flew to Athens. Imagine drinking coffee in the main plaza and tuning around and spotting your best friend from high school drinking coffee their, too. Totally serendipitous. She was there after spending a year in France. and stopped in Athens on her way home which is where I spotted her. It is a small world and it keeps getting smaller. Not that this has anything to do with Greek shrimp but when I think of Greece I can’t help but remember that story. Sad to say I don’t know where that friend is anymore but maybe one day our paths will cross again. And if they do I can only imagine where that might be. It is a small world, after all.
But back to food. Israel’s food back then was nothing to write home about. Other than the famous Israeli breakfasts there wasn’t much to say. Needless to say now the food is over the top glorious but back then we thought we’d died and gone to heaven when we hit Greece’s little tavernas. I remember sitting in a tiny seaside town under a white umbrella gazing at the blue, intoxicatingly blue sea and ordering seafood. The breeze had the scent of salt and the essence of wood drifting from the grill where your order was cooked fresh. And fresh it was as we watched the fisherman unloading their small little dinghys. I’m sure we started with fried zucchini and garlic aioli, because I believe we did that at every meal there. Couldn’t get enough of that. And we probably had a grilled fish and maybe we had grilled prawns. I don’t remember. I do remember the magical, lackadaisical feeling of being truly relaxed and wishing the moment wouldn’t end. Between the sun and the ouzo and the breeze, life couldn’t get any better then.
Well, this recipe won’t take you to Greece. And frozen shrimp just can’t compete with big meaty sweet prawns grilled over wood and drizzled with fresh green olive oil. But it is a perfect quick dish to throw out for company or when you haven’t picked up anything else. I tend to always keep a bag of frozen shrimp on hand because I make them often. I don’t eat red meat so shrimp is one of my stand ins along with chicken and fish and breakfast for dinner.
This recipe is short, just like this blog entry. But it is sweet and satisfying. And quick. Opa!
Taverna Baked Greek Shrimp with Feta (serves 3)
18 large shrimp (I used 31’s-40 but I prefer 15-30’s, thawed and deveined and shelled)
3/4 c canned diced tomatoes
1 T tomato paste
1 T olive oil and more if you want a drizzle on top
2 t red wine or vinegar
1/2 t garlic powder or 2 cloves minced
1 t greek seasoning or some fresh oregano and basil shredded
pinch of red chili flakes
2T frozen peas
2 oz cubed feta
In a small baking dish (8×8) mix tomatoes, tomato paste, olive oil, wine or vinegar and seasonings. Place shelled shrimp on top of tomato mixture. Add cubes of feta around shrimp.
Bake at 400 degrees for about 13 minutes until feta is starting to brown and shrimp is turning color. Add peas. Cook for about two minutes more. Do not overbake as your shrimp will end up dry.)
Take out of oven and drizzle with oil. Serve over cous cous or rice or spaghetti and say OPA!