Wednesday, January 16

Tomato, Fennel & Feta Shrimp Casserole

I’m always looking for easy dishes for entertaining, preferably things that can be made in advance and don’t require a lot of clean up after the meal. In the summer we do a lot of grilling and in the winter that usually means slow-cooked dishes from my dutch oven, but I don’t always have three hours to let things braise. Enter the casserole, which can really be elevated to a company-worthy meal despite its association with 50’s housewives and canned soup. This version has great Greek flavors with a chunky tomato-fennel sauce, jumbo shrimp, and a satisfying feta-panko topping. It’s a great dish to impress a crowd and they’ll never know how easy it was to make.

Tomato, Fennel & Feta Shrimp Casserole:
  • Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat.
  • Add in 1 diced onion and 1 bulb of diced fennel and saute for 10 minutes, or until softened but not brown.
  • Add in 3-4 cloves of minced garlic and stir for a minute, then add in 1/4 c. white wine.
  • Scrape any bits from the bottom of the pan and let wine reduce for a few minutes, then add in 2 tsp. tomato paste and stir until smooth.
  • Add in 1 can* of diced tomatoes, 1 tbsp. vermouth, 1 tsp. Herbes de Provence,** salt, and pepper.
  • Simmer sauce over low heat for 20 minutes.***
  • Meanwhile, combine 1 c. panko breadcrumbs with a handful of minced parsley, the zest of 1/2 lemon, and 2 tbsp. olive oil.
  • Turn the heat off and nestle 1lb. of large peeled and de-veined shrimp into the sauce, leaving the tails up.
  • Scatter 1/2 c. of crumbled feta cheese over the dish and then top with the breadcrumb mixture.
  • Bake casserole in the oven for 20 minutes, or until top is golden and shrimp are pink.
  • Squeeze the juice of a lemon over the top and serve.

Serves four - six
*14-15 oz. total.
**Or any dried herb mixture you like.
***Sauce can be made a day in advance and kept in the fridge. Warm before adding the shrimp and placing in the oven.