Okay, this isn’t exactly the image that gets conjured up when you visit local Greek restaurants. However, if you can look past the kitsch factor, you can certainly savor the flavors of Greece. These classics are amongst my favorite Greek dishes:
- Moussaka – Greece’s answer to the Shepherd’s Pie, this hearty casserole layers eggplant, spiced beef and creamy bechamel baked until golden brown.
- Spanakopita – This delicious pie, made from flaky phyllo dough and layered with spinach and feta cheese, is a decadent way to make sure you get your greens.
- Tzatziki – Perfect for pairing with everything from pita to lamb, this dip is made with Greek yogurt, cucumber and lots of garlic.
But if you feel like recreating that day on Santorini, try making my Greek-style Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta – the flavors will take you there!
MAKE YOUR OWN RECIPE
Using this recipe as background on ingredients and techniques, how might you make your own recipe? What if you:
Vary the protein?
Change up the alcohol?
- Pastis, sherry, vermouth or beer would easily replace the wine and would each add their own character to the dish.
Diversify the flavors?
- For an Indian twist, add garam masala and replace the feta with plain Greek yogurt for a Tikka Masala effect
- For New Orleans flair, add bell peppers, celery, cajun seasoning and hot sauce (and nix the feta).
- For Italian flavor, add basil and replace the feta with ricotta salata
GREEK-STYLE SHRIMP WITH TOMATOES AND FETA
• 2 tbsp – Olive oil
• ½ – Onion, minced
• 6 – Garlic cloves, minced
• ¼ tsp – Crushed red pepper
• 1 tsp – Dried oregano
• 1 tbsp – Tomato paste
• ½ cup – Red wine
• 1 – 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes, with liquid
• ½ tsp – Sugar
• Salt and pepper (to taste)
• 1 lb. – Shrimp, peeled and deveined
• 4 oz. – Feta, chopped
• 3 tbsp – Fresh mint, chopped
• ½ – Lemon
• 1 tbsp – Fresh parsley, minced
1. Preheat oven Broiler
2. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and add onions (with a dash of salt and pepper) – cook until soft
3. Add garlic, crushed red pepper and oregano – cook until fragrant
4. Add tomato paste – mix in well and cook for 2 minutes
5. Maintaining medium-high heat, add wine and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half
6. Add tomatoes, sugar, and salt and pepper (to taste) – bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer
7. Cook at a simmer until the sauce thickens – 15 minutes minimum
8. Remove from heat and mix in the shrimp, feta and mint
9. Pour into an oven-safe casserole and broil for 2-5 minutes until the shrimp are cooked through (you’ll see the shrimp turn pink and begin to form a c-shape)
10. Squeeze lemon juice on top and garnish with parsley