It’s September. And if you’re in denial that summer is coming to an end, chef Ana Sortun has the perfect dish for a gentle fall transition. Her hearty shrimp saganaki will warm you right up as the weather cools down —without letting go of fresh, summer flavors. Slow-simmered tomatoes, onions and fennel ease you into those chilly evenings when only stew can warm you up, while shrimp and feta cheese offer up the perfect farewell to summer.
- 6 plum tomatoes (or 2 cups canned chopped tomatoes, drained)
- small bowl of ice water
- 1 white onion, cut into half an inch dice
- 1 bulb fennel, cut into half an inch dice
- 1 head of escarole, trimmed of its outer leaves, washed and cut into half an inch pieces
- 2 green bell peppers, cut into half an inch dice
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into half an inch dice
- 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon of dried oregano (rigani)
- 18 large shrimp (U-10), peeled and de-veined
- 1 cup good sheep’s milk French feta
- 2 tablespoon Ouzo
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
- Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
- Fill a small pot with water and bring it to a rolling bowl.
- Cut an X on the end of the plum tomatoes and drop them into the boiling water.
- When the skin starts to pull away from the X, pull them out and drop them into the ice water.
- Peel the skins and quarter. Remove seeds, roughly chop and set aside.
- Place the onion, fennel, escarole, peppers, tomato and olive oil in a cazuela or large surfaced deep sided sauté pan and slowly simmer until onions are soft and peppers are tender, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in garlic and oregano and cook for a few minutes more. If you chose not to flambé with ouzo, add the ouzo at this point, stirring into the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Season the shrimp with salt and pepper to taste. Embed the shrimp into the vegetables in one even layer.
- Sprinkle with feta and place in oven.
- Cook for 20 minutes until shrimp is cooked through and casserole is bubbly.
- Flambé with ouzo and sprinkle with fresh dill.
- Serve with rusk, toasted whole grain bread or rice.