One of my favorite parts about summer is dinner at my friend Sarah’s house featuring portions of roasted shrimp with tomatoes and feta. Every time we go, her family makes a feast, each member contributing something to the table, whether steaks, salads, or pies.
Sarah’s dad always makes the baked shrimp dish. It’s inspired by a nearby Greek restaurant. He apparently never gets tired of it, and neither do I.
Though I love eating the dish, I had never made it until recently, when preparation for summer got me in the mood to cook up the season’s yummiest recipes.
And fortunately, this one is as easy as it is delicious. Basically, you stir together a simple tomato sauce from sautéed onions, garlic, and whole canned tomatoes. The Greek part comes in when you season, just slightly, with cinnamon and cloves. Then, when you add the shrimp, the sauce takes on a wonderful brininess, finished with the feta and olives and brightened with sprigs of dill.
Best of all, there’s extra juice to mop up with good bakery bread, perhaps grilled on the charcoal barbecue.
A summer spread like this wants nothing else besides a bottle of chilled Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Pinot Gris, which goes down easy with this Mediterranean feast.
- Olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch ground cloves
- 6 green olives, pitted and chopped
- One 14-ounce can whole tomatoes in juice
- ½ pound peeled and deveined shrimp
- Heaping ⅓ cup crumbled feta
- Fresh dill, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Set an oven-safe skillet over medium heat and film it generously with olive oil. Add the onion and cook until it's soft, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute, then throw in a pinch of salt and the spices and cook a minute more. Add the olives and the tomatoes with their juices, and turn up the heat to bring to a boil. Use your spoon or spatula to break up the tomatoes as you go. Keep cooking until the sauce thickens, about 15 minutes. Taste for seasoning - you want this to be slightly on the salty side.
- Add the shrimp to the pan and stir to cover them with the tomatoes. Scatter the feta on top. Place the skillet in the oven and bake 15 to 20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened, the shrimp are cooked, and the feta is brown. Drizzle with a little extra olive oil, then serve as soon as you can, with crusty bread to mop it up.