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May 31, 2009

Feta cheese (Recipe: baked shrimp with tomatoes and feta) {gluten-free}

Baked shrimp with tomato and feta.

When I was younger, I learned a lot of what I knew about boys in summer camp, from my girlfriends who had older siblings or whose mothers had had "the talk" before mine ever worked up the courage to give it a try.

Similarly, I learned a lot of what I knew about food from my friends who had grandparents and parents from Italy and Puerto Rico and the American South. Pasta and parmesan, enchiladas and chicken fried steak -- all were new to me.

I didn't know any kids from Greek families, though, so it took years before I learned about feta cheese.

Feta

Feta (pronounced FEH tah) is a white, salty curd cheese. In 2005, it received PDO (protected designation of origin) status as a uniquely Greek cheese, made from sheep's milk or a blend of up to 70 percent sheep's milk and 30 percent goat's milk. Feta made outside the European Union, or for export, is allowed to contain cow's milk. (I'm partial to Rhode Island's own local feta, which I think is every bit as good as the real thing. If you're lucky enough to have great local feta, please use it.)

Traditionally feta is made by heating unpasteurized milk mixed with rennet. The curds that form are drained to remove the whey; then the curds are cut and wrapped tightly in cheesecloth, which molds them into loose blocks of cheese. Under pressure, the blocks firm up (the word feta comes from the Italian fetta, meaning "slice"), and are placed in a salty brine to cure for six to eight weeks.

If the feta you buy is particularly salty, soak the cheese in fresh water for an hour to allow some of the brine to dissipate. Store feta in its original package, to retain moisture until you're ready to use it. Because it dries out rapidly when removed from the brine, please don't buy the packaged crumbled feta; the taste is a poor second to buying feta in a whole block and crumbling it yourself.

Baked shrimp with tomatoes and feta, good hot or cold.

Baked shrimp with tomatoes and feta

Adapted slightly from Ellie Krieger's The Food You Crave, this makes a quick-and-easy elegant main dish, served over rice or orzo. Serves 8.

Ingredients

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 28-oz cans diced tomatoes, with their juices
1/2 tsp kosher salt, or more to taste
1/2 cup finely minced flat-leaf parsley
2 Tbsp minced fresh dill, or more to taste
2-1/2 lbs medium (31-40 size) shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper, or more to taste
6 oz crumbled feta cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Heat the oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened, 3 minutes. Then add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer for 5 minutes, or until the tomato juices thicken.

Remove from the heat. Stir in the parsley, dill, shrimp and black pepper. Taste the sauce, and add salt if needed. Sprinkle the feta over the top, and bake on the middle rack of the oven until the shrimp are cooked through and the cheese begins to soften, approximately 12 minutes. Serve hot or warm, over rice or orzo.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]


More feta recipes in The Perfect Pantry:

Warm salad of kamut, cranberries and feta
Quinoa salad with tomato, feta and parsley
Mexican tortilla and lime soup
Red lentil, spinach and feta salad
Tangerine and feta salad

Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Garlic shrimp in coconut milk, tomatoes and cilantro, from Skinnytaste
Sauteed shrimp with onions and cherry tomatoes, from Nom Nom Paleo
Shrimp linguine in a tomato and white wine sauce, from Closet Cooking
Roasted tomatoes with shrimp and feta, from The Kitchn
Fisherman's soup with tilapia, shrimp, tomatoes and capers, from Cookin' Canuck

Need more creative ideas for using tomatoes all year round? Get 25 Tomatoes, my e-book packed with fantastic recipes, full-color photos and a fun video tutorial. With the FREE Kindle Reading app, delicious tomato recipes will always be just one click away on any computer, tablet or smart phone. Click here to learn more.

Baked shrimp with tomatoes and feta, delicious hot or cold.

Comments

Yum! I make a version of this with a splash of ouzo or other anise flavored liqueur. It tastes great with orzo, as you suggested.

I hated summer camp so I'll comment about feta cheese which is a particular favorite in our house and one cheese that all 4 of us can and do eat all summer long, hot in Spinach-Feta turnovers or Spanikopita (youngest anti-vegetable son will actually eat spinach because of the feta!!!) or tossed into salads (lettuce, tomato, feta). I am also dying to try something I saw Nigella Lawson make once on tv, a salad with watermelon, red onions, parsley and feta. Wow!

Cubed feta and watermelon on a hot summer night. That has to be one of my fondest childhood memories.

Feta in a spinach quiche is my favourite! There's something about the saltiness in Feta that rounds off the creamy richness of eggs and cream. Yum!

Feta and kumquats on a skewer (or toothpick) together. Weird, yet so good.

The picture turned on the water faucet in my mouth. I;m going to do the feta, tomato and dill for my lunch salad and maybe throw a few cold shrimp on top.

thanks

The photo really is inviting. Perhaps I could do it with basil as dill just never interests me.
It's really beautiful.

Mmmm! Can hardly wait to make this. This should be extra special for these warm evenings.

Gorgeous photos! As you know, I adore anything with feta, definitely my favorite cheese. I planted four dill plants (after my seeds didn't really seem to be growing) so I'm set to make this in a few months!

As a novice cook its those little tricks, like soaking the feta that makes all the difference. I wondered why some brands were just too salty. You've inspired me to visit the Syrian Market today and try your recipe. As for "the talk" that's another story --

I know this will mark me as terribly boring, but my favourite place to find feta is in a Greek salad, so simple yet so right.

I love feta, but have to watch how much I consume with high BP. I should try rinsing it. I would have thought that it would dissolve in the fresh water.

Ooh, I love feta, such a versatile cheese.

Thanks for the tip about crumbled Feta. Maybe that's why I've never liked it. :-)

I have made my own feta. I didn't keep it in brine but in a herb olive oil I make up. It was really delicious. Have to get that receipe out and make some more.

Margaret

Just went to Greece for the first time, truly amazing country. Ate feta almost every day, it was wonderful. Look forward to trying this baked shrimp recipe.

No summer camp stories :( but we did stay at a big old house in England. They actually generated their own electricity at short intervals during the day. You needed a torch (flashlight) if you needed to use the loo (bathroom) during the night. That's kind of like camping? They had lots of rabbit huts and I thought that was so great to have so many pets. I was very young.

I adore feta, and use it in many ways. I love cubes of feta in tomato soup, in salads, pastas, etc.

I never went to summer camp, but I still learned all about boys there, vicariously through my best friend. And I fondly remember a summer salad of broccoli, feta, raisins and sunflower seeds--an all-time favorite!

This post reminded me of a recipe I have for a red cabbage coleslaw that calls for feta, tomatoes, green onions, & a cilantro dressing. Totally making that this week (and posting it on my blog). Yum! and thanks for the inspiration.

Yum, will definitely be making this soon! At our house a weekly standard is fried boneless skinless chicken breasts, peppers & onions - served with rice. As the onion and pepper's caramelize I crumble feta on top. It's quite tasty and looks great when plated.

I like Sam's idea of feta and watermelon! I've just come to appreciate feta recently, and lately I'm digging it in Greek Salad with Grilled Lamb Burgers.

I really like what happens to feta when you bake it. You can add all sorts of things to it (tomatoes, sweet peppers) and eat it with good crusty bread. I know this is sad, but I think the only thing I learned at summer camp was that after it was over, I didn't want to go back to summer camp.

I love to make a frito misto of sweet peppers, onions, tomatoes, and eggplant in olive oil. I put it in a whole wheat flatbread with crumbles of feta. One of the best sandwiches ever!

I'll bet you could finish this stove-top instead of in the oven (so you can still enjoy it in the summer when it's too hot to bake). For some reason I associate feta with summer, though I'm sure I've used it all through the year.

Yes to watermelon, feta and Nigella -- that was an eye opener. Actually, feta makes so many flavors come alive! Loved summer camp, but not boys -- saved that for later.

this is the 3rd time I've seen this wonderful dish. I also saw a feta dip. Man, the possibilities of feta are endless.

We love feta, my husband will put it on just about anything. Our favorite is to use the left over lamb roast thinly sliced grilled with some onions and peppers topped with feta all on a piece of warm flat bread... makes me sad we have no feta in the house right now.

I got engaged in Greece (on the Greek isle of Santorini, to be exact) this past March. Hooray! My fiance put the ring in the sugar dish of our breakfast service... naturally, it would happen during a meal! Greek yogurt with orange marmalade made the day before by our hostess, sweet bread, amarena cherries... and of course, mimosas!

Looking forward to making another Greek-inspired dish. Thanks for the recipe!

I just tried something really good with feta! It was spanokapita sp? and it was great! I can;t wait to figure out how to make it at home!

Great photo! Her cookbook is one of many on my "wish list" right now (must get through the ones I just purchased before I allow myself to buy more). Love feta, this looks yummy and fresh!

The traditional Greek salad is my favorite....We were in Greece two years ago and I have to say it was the most consistantly prepared dish we had the entire time we were there...The Feta there is by far the best I've ever had...I miss it!

I love feta. I have to check out your other recipes.

Paz

I love feta cheese so much. At my local international food market they carry a variety unlike no other I have ever tried before, or since. I can't really explain what sets this one apart from all the other feta's out there, but it's just gorgeous. It's so silky smooth and just plain delicious.

For a recipe containing Feta I have one that I myself have actually never tried. I got it from my Finnish friend who assures me it's delicious as a spread on a piece of bread. I must admit it doesn't look all that tasty, but when I read the list of ingredients I couldn't help but long to try it. Check it out here: http://angelicasfoodcorner.blogspot.com/2009/04/fetajuttu.html

Thanks for a great blog!

I'm afraid the only thing I learned about food at summer camp was that I could live for two weeks on only Slim Jims and Coke. Thankfully, I have come a long way in regards to food since then.

I turn to feta more and more. I appreciate the tip about the crumbled feta as well. The last time I bought it, it went to waste as it was dry. Can't wait to try some of the recipes, I have a big block if feta at the ready.

I love feta! I always have a big tub of it in the fridge, and hope to make some myself one day.
I love baked shrimp with feta and spanakopita, yum!

Oooh feta cheese.. Yumm. I love crumbling it over salad, or even over bread :P

I have made a similar dish. I like the idea of popping it in the oven to finish off the shrimp. This recipe sounds easy and delicious. I must try it.

I love feta and eggs, we make eggs with feta and dill often. Feta has so many uses. I did not know about the differences between native and exported Feta. I love your Sat. posts about other pantries too!

My Old Guy and myself made the perfect pizza Saturday night, just using things that we pulled from the fridge...
And you know what? I've got to honestly say that the Baby spinach, Feta and chopped tomato pizza we made, is the best I've ever had!

I regret only making a small one though... because who doesn't like cold pizza for breakfast? ;-)

Thanks for the information on the whole vs crumbled feta. Does that hold true for blue cheeses as well?

I've been trying to expand my cookbook collection recently. Thanks for the opportunity!

I love the cookbook giveaways! Unfortunetely, I'm not so fond of feta, so I have no good recipes to share.

I love feta cheese in anything My favorite is probably a simple feta cheese omelet.

Okay, so I'm not a feta fan and I didn't go to summer camp. But I do love cookbooks. Not that I really need another one, but it's part of the addiction, you see. I just never know when I'll stumble upon one that has my next favorite recipe in it. :D

I love feta.... but in our side of the subcontinent the homemade curd cheese is called Paneer, and is not soaked in brine, hence is not salty. I loved your version of the feta dish. In a similar dish, we saute the onions, garlic, ginger and tomatoes, chopped fine, sprinkle, chopped green chillies to taste, and then add crumbled paneer to it. Add salt to taste. Stir fry fast to mix all ingredients loosely. Put off the gas, add chopped coriander, and is ready to serve with Roti(Indian bread), Paratha or Pita etc. I think you might like it (but, without the chillies, perhaps)

I am going to try this, after your comment that if you soak it you can remove some of the saltiness from the feta. That's always been a turn-off for me with feta. Thank you for the tip - and the great recipes you post :-)

I’m lucky that there is a grocery store that I go to that has a huge selection of feta cheese, they also will give you the whey to store the cheese in so with the addition of a bit more salt you can keep the cheese up to a month or a bit more. Needless to say I always have feta on hand. If you can get it French feta does not have a lot of salt and the taste is rather mild. President has blocks of feta that are shrink wrapped in a bit of whey. It works if you in a pinch, or you want less salt
Lydia, love your photos – if only I could eat shrimp “sigh”

After reading your Feta post, I would like to point a couple of things and I think an email is better than me grandstanding in a post.

Your baked shrimp & Feta dish is a traditional Greek dish called Shrimp (Garides) Saganaki. It's one of my favourites and it's often ordered at Greek tavernas.

Saganaki refers to the two handles vessel and it's often cooked in such a dish. Saganaki can refer to the vessel or the meal itself. Think along the lines of Paella or Tajine.

Secondly, you correctly outlined Feta's PDO protected status but glaringly omitted that the PDO designation also means the only Feta is Greek Feta. Anything else (although labeled) as such is an imitation ands any decent Feta would not contain cow's milk either.

Finally, you posted a photo of a local brand of "Feta", it could be a good product but it's deceiving to post a photo of this product (American) in the same post mentioning Feta and PDO designation. This American cheese clearly is not a PDO product. The only Feta cheese is made in Greece.

Are we to now call sparkling wine from California champagne? How about a local cheese and call it Parmigiano Reggiano? Perhaps you should distinguish that the cheese you've showcased in not an authentic Feta...Providence is a long, long way from Greece.

Providence is a long, long way from Greece
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
whatever happened to the concept of the 'world is a village'?? j/k

I made this yesterday....was very nice. it is quite amazing how dill manages to so easily turn the mundane into the uber tasty

My dauhter would love this. Thanks for sharing another great recipe!

This recipe for Feta Cheese Turkey Burgers found on AllRecipes.com is a year round favorite:

Feta Cheese Turkey Burgers

1 pound ground turkey
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
ground black pepper to taste

Preheat the grill for medium high heat.

In a large bowl, combine turkey, feta cheese, olives, oregano, and pepper. Mix together, and form into patties.

Lightly oil the grate. Place patties on the grill. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, turning halfway through.

That's a nice recipe to highlight feta - and how jealous am I that you have access to artisanal feta cheese?

I've made a fabulous couscous salad with garbanzo beans, spring onions, lemon zest and juice and feta cheese. It is soooooo wonderful as a side dish at a cook-out or a large salad for lunch.

we love the Narragansett Creamery feta! we make a ride to Providence specifically for that yummy cheese

Oh Feta how do I love thee... let me count the ways.....
just another one on the long list of cheese addictions I have :-)

I happend to have all these ingredients in my fridge now!! I am making this for dinner this week.!

I love feta cheese!!! I love crumbling it into bruschetta and eating it on toasted garlic bread. It's also super yummy sprinkled onto of fresh hot french fries dipped into tzatziki sauce (the cucumber sauce for gyros).
And of course in any salad!!! :)

I love feta cheese. this looks really good.

Leaving for Greece on Sunday and can't wait to try all greek dishes in Kefalonia! Yummy feta!

This shrimp dish looks pretty darn fantastic! I love dill and tomatoes together and then you throw feta in the mix,I'm a happy camper thanks for a great recipe!

Er...I eat Greek yogurt every day! Does that count? Haha I love it with some fresh fruit and sometimes a drizzle of honey. Otherwise, as far as Greek/Mediterranean food goes, I am a HUGE fan of falafel!!

Hi,
I have FETA in the fridge..
The other day I made Portobella Mushroom with Bruschetta & Feta.It was delish.

First time visitor and looking forward to making this dish. Yours will be added to my browser bookmarks/cookbook of recipes I use for nightly dinners!

Oh summer camp...where I learned many (dirty) jokes, how to hide candy from counselors (it wasn't allowed) and how to climb to the roof of a cabin. And being an all-girls camp, boys were usually the hot topic :) Thanks for the reminder of days gone by! And, by the way, that dish looks delicious!

I think I will be making this for dinner sometime this week...

Narragansett Creamery? I've got to check that out next time I'm in RI. I also love marinated feta salad with olives for a picnic.

Not crazy about feta, love the blog though!

I am a huge fan of feta, we always have some in the fridge.

I love tsatskiki..or however you spell that.

The photo looks great. I am marking this down to try!

my fav greek appetizer is the flaming cheese (i don't know how to spell it!) - any how, we would travel to a section of florida that was known for its greek heritage and there was a wonderful deli that sold this cheese. i brought it back on the plane to NY for my husband to try!

Any dish with feta cheese in it has to be allright with me. My favourite dish with feta at the moment is a grape leaf wrapped piece with pepperflakes and cooked on the BBQ.

MyKitchen, I think basil would be lovely in this instead of the dill. In fact, I'm going to try it, as soon as my garden basil reaches critical mass.

Neil, not boring at all! Greek salad is one of life's great salads.

Barb, unless your feta is terribly dried out to start with (and it should be stored in brine so it shouldn't be dried out), soaking in clean water to let some of the salt leach out will not hurt the cheese. But don't try it with pre-crumbled feta.

Sam, it's spanakopita!

Tatersmama, that pizza sounds delicious. I'm going to try it this weekend.

Arundhati, I've actually made paneer at home, and I love it!

Peter, thanks as always for adding to my knowledge of Greek food. You're right, of course, that Rhode Island "feta" is not PDO feta. And so here is our dilemma (same dilemma as with Parmigiano-Reggiano): do we support local producers, or stick to the original product? Or, as in this case, should we call the real thing feta, and the other "feta" or give it a new name entirely? Even within Europe, it's confusing. Oh, and one thing I don't like about this cookbook is that the author does not include the real names of ethnic dishes (like saganaki -- I wasn't sure but thought that was correct). So thanks for clarifying that, too.

Maybe Feta has gone the way of Kleenex and Xerox in the U.S.! In our house, it's "Honey, will you get me a kleenex" (not 'tissue' or 'Puff's') and likewise, "Honey, would you like feta on your salad" (not 'white crumbled cheese')!

I love feta cheese and am always looking for ways to incorporate it into my meals.Thank you

Shrimp dishes baked with tomatoes and feta like this are so good!

Shrimp, Tomato and Feta...oh my!!! Sounds like a fantastic combo!

Looks so yum! Will be hosting a dinner party soon and this will make the cut!

I wonder if this would work w/ langoustines--picked some up the other day from Trader Joe's (they were cheaper than shrimp, and also TJ's only had frozen cooked, or uncooked but also unpeeled, which was more than I wanted to face at the time).

Man, I want to go buy some feta now.

I learned quite a few things at summer camp: 1) A really great prank involving a mini creamer packet that makes it look like your eye explodes. 2) Enunciation = accent to some people. 3) Even band geeks can be popular. :)

I love feta, but never thought about combining it with shrimp. But I grew up only eating boiled shrimp with cocktail sauce, or fried shrimp with tartar sauce.

I've tried it other ways since becoming an adult, and now won't even eat fried shrimp anymore (but I will eat fried fish with tartar sauce still LOL).

I've never tried feta cheese... maybe this is a good option to try it!

Love feta cheese on a fresh salad from the garden...home grown lettuces, home grown tomatoes...some feta. Home grown or not. It's good. Thanks for hosting a the giveaway. :) ~~Rhonda

I went to summer camp once, but then some kid threw a large rock on me. That was the end of summer camp for me. Anyway, I'm used to eating shrimp one way, this looks like an interesting recipe.

No feta here Lydia...hope I can make some of my own one day. Everything feta sounds so good. Thanks for the background info; I lapped it up! That dish looks scrumptious indeed!

My favorite way to enjoy feta is either on a green salad with my father's homemade sweet and sour salad dressing, or in homemade spinach garlic feta bread :) Toasted lightly with some butter, or even dipped in warmed marinara is amazing!

I never went to traditional summer camp--just places like gymnastics camp and art camp. i also rarely cook greek food, but i loooove shrimp! will probably be making some tomorrow night!

Now I know what to do with the two blocks of feta in the fridge! Favorite Greek recipe...Lemon rice soup.

I love greek food! I first tried it in college and was especially taken with stuffed grape leaves. Mmmm!

Hi Lydia, Just FYI, by happenstance I tried a couple of changes with this GREAT dish, fresh tomatoes work beautifully, and there's no need for the oven (unless you want to use the oven, say), it cooks just find on the stovetop. PLUS -- spinach is a great addition, making a one-skillet meal. I just posted my recipe here, http://kitchenparade.com/2009/08/shrimp-with-tomatoes-spinach-feta.php but it wouldn't have happened without seeing your version (and all the others across food blog land too). Thanks for the inspiration for a truly excellent dish --

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