Shrimp saganaki with Alubia beans
If you’ve been to Greece, you’ve seen shrimp saganaki on many restaurant menus. It’s a saucy appetizer featuring shrimp in tomato sauce with crumbled feta cheese. Here, I’ve taken a traditional shrimp saganaki and combined it with petite Alubia beans for a fantastic main course. For a little extra something, try adding a generous splash (or two!) of ouzo to the pan before adding the tomato – it goes so well with seafood and adds even more oomph to this dish.
– Diana Moutsopoulos (@greek_recipes)
- 1 lb Primary Beans Alubia beans
- 4 large tomatoes
- Splash or 2 of ouzo (optional)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 shallot, grated
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 3 tbsp finely chopped mint
- 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
- Salt and pepper
- 1 lb (450 g) unpeeled shrimp, deveined (head-on is optional)
- 10 oz (300 g) feta, crumbled
- Good bread, for serving
Prepare dried beans according to the Primary Beans cooking guide. If using a pressure cooker, set the time to 28 minutes instead of the recommended 30 minutes. If cooking on the stovetop, cook beans until just al dente, about 15 minutes less than you would normally cook them.
Prepare tomatoes by halving each, then grating the cut side over a bowl using the largest holes of a box grater. Once you have grated all the flesh, discard the skin. Repeat with all remaining tomato halves.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat and add shallot. Cook gently until soft but not browned. Increase heat, then add ouzo (if using) and stir until mostly absorbed. Add grated tomato, tomato paste, herbs, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Simmer gently, uncovered, until the sauce is thickened and reduced, about 10-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, drain the cooked beans and reserve the broth for another use. Once the tomato sauce is thickened, add the beans and stir well. Taste and add additional salt and pepper, if desired (though keep in mind you’ll be adding additional salty feta to the top). Arrange shrimp evenly over the top, then crumble over the feta.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until shrimp is cooked through and opaque. If you’d like to brown feta slightly, turn on the broiler for the final 2 to 3 minutes. Serve as a main dish or an appetizer with lots of good bread.
Unpeeled shrimp add a lot of flavor to the sauce, but if you can’t find any, frozen, peeled, and deveined shrimp work just fine (defrost before using in the recipe).
If tomatoes aren’t in season, you can instead use an 18 oz (500 g) jar of whole plum tomatoes, and mash them gently in the pan.