Plump fresh shrimp, big red tomatoes, fresh oregano, feta cheese and Greek olive oil were among the delights I found in a taverna off the main square on the Greek island of Corfu. Cooked together they make a specialty that is served throughout the Greek islands where all of these ingredients are plentiful.
In this simple local restaurant, pots were bubbling on the stove while the chef chopped the fresh herbs by hand. He worked alone in the kitchen preparing everything himself. I asked him how he managed on his own. He said the dishes are so simple that they practically cook themselves.
I created this dinner of shrimp with feta cheese and rice pilaf with his taverna cooking in mind. He placed all of the ingredients in the oven to bake. I shortened the cooking time by sauteing the shrimp in a skillet.
Feta cheese is traditionally made with sheep’s or goat’s milk. Many commercial producers now make it with cow’s milk. It has a tangy flavor that lends zip to the dish. It is sold in the dairy case of most supermarkets.
Pilaf is a rice dish in which the rice is browned in oil or butter before the liquid is added. Any type of rice can be used. If pressed for time, make a simple quick or minute rice to go with the shrimp.
This meal contains 510 calories per serving with 22 percent of calories from fat.
• Buy pre-shelled shrimp if possible.
• If your dried oregano is gray instead of green, it’s time for a new jar.
• To save time, buy feta cheese crumbled instead of in a block.
• Sliced onions are used in both the shrimp and rice dishes. Slice at one time and divide accordingly.
• Minced garlic can be found in the produce section of the supermarket.
Wine suggestion: Want to impress your guests? Serve a light and lemony dry white wine from the attic savatiano grape, straight from Greece. On the substantial chance that you can’t find this, a white sauvignon blanc would go nicely with the herbal flavors here.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this dinner.
To buy: 3/4 pound large shrimp, 1 small package crumbled feta cheese,1 large tomato, 1 jar minced garlic and 1 small bunch fresh oregano or 1 jar dried oregano.
Staples: Olive oil; onion; long grain white rice; fat free, low salt chicken broth; salt and black peppercorns
Linda Gassenheimer is the author of 14 cookbooks including her newest, “The Flavors of the Florida Keys” and “Mix ’n Match Meals in Minutes for People with Diabetes.” Visit Linda on her web page at www.DinnerInMinutes.com or e-mail her at Linda@DinnerInMinutes.com.