Try a Greek classic with garden-fresh flavors
Today's dinner is a fresh, summery take on shrimp saganaki, a Greek dish in which shrimp is sauteed with onion, celery and tomatoes and topped with feta cheese. It takes its name from the shallow, two-handled pan in which it is cooked.
On a recent trip to Birmingham, Ala., I met George Sarris, owner of the Fish Market Restaurant. He made this dish on a table set up in a community garden in the center of the city and added just-picked herbs. They gave the saganaki a wonderful, fresh flavor.
Complete the meal with this simple side dish:
Cucumber Rice: Mix 1 cup hot, cooked rice (I use microwaveable brown or white rice) with 2 teaspoons olive oil; 1 cup cubed, unpeeled cucumber; and salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste. Makes two servings.
Tips: Any type of fresh herbs can be used. If using a strong one, such as rosemary, add the whole sprig and remove it before serving. Drained, canned, plum tomatoes can be substituted.
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup sliced red onion
1 cup sliced celery
4 plum tomatoes, cut into quarters (about 2 cups)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 cups fresh basil leaves
2 cups fresh mint leaves
2 sprigs fresh sage
3⁄4 pound peeled shrimp
1⁄2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, tomatoes, garlic and herbs. Saute until the onions are transparent without browning, five to seven minutes.
Add the shrimp. Cook two to three minutes, or until shrimp just turn pink. Remove the sage sprigs. Sprinkle with feta cheese and salt and pepper, to taste. Makes two servings.