Baked Prawns with Feta

This traditional Greek recipe (Garides Saganaki) shows that Prawns, Feta and tomatoes are a great combination. It works beautifully, resulting in a harmonious balance of flavors. Though it can be made year round with canned tomatoes, it is sensational with fresh sweet ripe ones, so is best prepared in summer. Serve it as a main course with rice. white beans or potatoes, or in small portions as an appetizer, taverna-style.

INGREDIENTS:
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 large shallots, or one onion, chopped
1 or 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
2 teaspoons fresh oregano, marjoram or basil
1 thai chile pepper, crumbled (seeds may be omitted)
2 large ripe tomatoes, cored and optionally skinned, cut into wedges and a 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
salt and ground pepper to taste
1 pound prawns, peeled and deveined
1 can artichoke hearts, cut into bite sized pieces or 2 baby fennel bulbs, cut into thin wedges
4 ounces coarsely crumbled feta cheese
1 teaspoon fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves

YIELD: Serves 4

COURSE: Seafood

CUISINE: Greek

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat and add the olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Saute for about 2 minutes. Add the fennel wedges if using. Add the canned and fresh tomatoes, stirring well and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring frequently, until juices are reduced and sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. If using, add the artichokes and saute two more minutes. Transfer mixture to a glazed baking dish.
  3. Put shrimp in a mixing bowl. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, season shrimp with salt and pepper and stir to coat. Arrange shrimp over tomato mixture in one layer. Crumble cheese over surface and sprinkle with oregano.
  4. Bake for 10-15 minutes until bubbling hot and cheese is slightly browned. Remove from oven and let the dish rest for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with mint and serve.