roasted shrimp with feta

Not sure if you’ll serve this as an appetizer.  Or include it as part of the entree for your next dinner party.  Either way …give this a try.  It’s easy, can be prepared ahead of time and is absolutely delicious.  This recipe is featured in Ina Garten’s How Easy Is That? Cookbook.  The original recipe is designed to serve four people.  I’ve adapted the proportions to serve a party of eight.  If you’d rather make a smaller batch, here’s the original recipe.

The most time-consuming part of this is cleaning the shrimp.  You can sometimes purchase peeled shrimp.  It’s a bit more expensive but will save some time.  Either way, it is important to devein each and every one.  Make a shallow cut through the back of the shrimp, then remove the vein as illustrated in the next photo.  Warning …it’s kinda gross but necessary.

When prepping the fennel, I like to slice instead of chop.  If you like fennel, you’ll enjoy the chunky pieces found in this dish.

If starting this early in the day, make the tomato and fennel broth.  Let it cool and place it in the fridge.  Prepare the shrimp, store them in a separate container or plastic bag in the fridge.  Have the bread crumb mixture, as well as the crumbled feta, ready on the side.

About an hour before baking, remove the tomato and fennel broth from the refrigerator.  Once it reaches room temperature,  arrange the shrimp on top of the tomato mixture in a single layer and continue with the cheese and bread crumb topping.

This is excellent served as a hearty appetizer with some crusty bread for dipping …you don’t want to waste any of the delicious sauce.  Alternatively, try this for dinner served with your favorite baked pasta.  Just add a fresh green salad.  And you’ll have a happy crowd.

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roasted shrimp with feta

Wonderful combination of tomatoes and fennel paired with shrimp and feta.   Just add bread.

Servings 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 1/2 cups roughly chopped fennel (about 10 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic (5-6 cloves)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 28 ounces canned whole tomatoes, roughly chopped (with juice)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons Pernod
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds peeled jumbo shrimp, with tails on (16 to 20 per pound)
  • 6 ounces coarsely crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 lemon, cut in wedges (for serving)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

  2. Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a 12-inch heavy ovenproof skillet over medium-low heat.  Add the fennel and saute for 8 to 10 minutes, until the fennel is tender.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Add the wine and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits.  Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the liquid is reduced by half. 

  3. Add the tomatoes with their juice, tomato paste, oregano, Pernod, salt and pepper to the skillet.  Simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes.

  4. Arrange the shrimp, tails up, in one layer over the tomato mixture in the skillet.  Scatter the feta evenly over the shrimp.  In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, parsley, and lemon zest with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle over the shrimp.

  5. Bake for 15 minutes, until the shrimp are cooked and the bread crumbs are golden brown.  Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon over the shrimp.  Serve hot with the lemon wedges.

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