Shrimp with Feta Cheese

Main Course

Recipe courtesy of Milk Street Tuesday Nights

Serves 4

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided 
  • 1¼ pounds jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails removed, patted dry 
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped 
  • 4 teaspoons fennel seeds, finely ground 
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes 
  • ⅓ cup dry white wine 
  • 1½ pounds small tomatoes, such as Campari, chopped, plus ¼ cup finely diced 
  • ⅓ cup pitted Kalamata olives, chopped 
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano 
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper 
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, coarsely crumbled (1 cup) 
  • ¼ cup chopped Peppadew peppers (optional) 

Recipe Note: 

This classic Greek dish pairs plump, sweet shrimp with briny feta cheese. We added chopped Kalamata olives for added savoriness, as well as ground fennel for a hint of anise. Our preferred tomatoes for this recipe are Campari (or cocktail) tomatoes, as they tend to be sweet and flavorful year-round; they're larger than cherry tomatoes but smaller than standard round tomatoes and usually sold on the vine in containers. We tried cherry and grape tomatoes, but found their skins to be tough and unpleasant in the finished sauce. Chopped Peppadew peppers are an unconventional ingredient, but their mild, sweet heat makes them a welcome addition. Serve with crusty bread to sop up the sauce.


Shrimp with Feta Cheese

Shrimp with Feta Cheese

Click image to enlarge


Don't use pre-crumbled feta. The cheese ploys a prominent role in this dish, so good-quality feta sold in blocks and packed in brine is important.

In a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil until shimmering. Add half the shrimp in an even layer and cook without disturbing until deep golden brown on the bottoms, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir and cook until pink and opaque on all sides, another 20 to 30 seconds. Transfer to a medium bowl. Repeat with 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil and the remaining shrimp. Set aside.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan and heat over medium-high until shimmering. Add the garlic. fennel and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic is light golden brown, about 20 seconds. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until the liquid is almost evaporated, 30 to 60 seconds. Add the chopped tomatoes, olives, and 1½ teaspoon salt. Cook stirring, until the tomatoes have broken down into a sauce, 6 to 7 minutes.

Remove the pan from heat. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the oregano. then taste and season with salt and pepper. Return the shrimp to the skillet, along  with any accumulated juices. Cover and let stand until the shrimp are heated through, about 1 minute. Transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle with the feta, finely diced tomatoes, the Peppadews (if using) and the remaining 2 teaspoons oregano.


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