Wednesday, 23 June 2010



A saganaki is a small two-handled frying pan that was traditionally used in Greece to prepare pan-seared mezé (appetizers). The saganaki would usually go from oven to table and thus gave its name to various dishes that were prepared in it, the most popular of which seems to have been cheese saganaki, a dish made with fried, bubbly cheese.

Another favourite saganaki dish is the one I have made here, garides saganaki, or shrimp saganaki. One doesn't need the special frying pan to make this. These days any ovenproof dish will do. 

I've increased the ingredients in this recipe because I will be serving a larger crow. But ideally, a saganaki appetizer is meant to serve just a few people. Let's say it's meant to be shared by two. Therefore, feel free use a smaller amount of ingredients, something which will serve two.

The shrimp must be quickly sautéd and then mixed in a tomato base, topped with feta cheese and heated before served. It makes an absolutely delicious appetizer or first course. If you like shrimp and feta cheese, blend them together to make this wonderful dish. You will love it!


20 to 25 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion, chopped
2 scallions chopped
1 small green pepper or better yet one sweet Italian frying pepper, very finely chopped
3 large ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons parsley
2 tablespoons dill
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
optional: 1/4 cup shredded kasseri cheese, or use gruyere. 


  • In a large skillet heat 4 tablespoons of the oil and add the onion and pepper. Cook stirring until the onion is soft. 
  • Add the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and cook until they are soft and most of the liquid in the skillet has evaporated. Place the tomato mixture in a bowl and keep it warm. 
  • Heat the remaining oil and the butter in the same skillet, add the scallions and shrimp, and cook about 2 minutes. 
  • Stir in the parsley and dill and half of the feta, and cook until the feta is soft, about 2 minutes.
  • Mix all the ingredients together and add them to an ovenproof serving dish. 
In this case, the shrimp was "to go," which means I transported it to someone's home and finished cooking it there. I picked a convenient, inexpensive container to transport it in.
  • Sprinkle the rest of the feta cheese and all of the kasseri cheese on top.
  • Place in a pre-heated 425°F oven and heat until the kasseri starts to melt and brown, about 3  minutes. 
  • Serve as an appetizer accompanied with bread to mop up the sauce. 
  • Total cooking time for the shrimp is seven minutes ... It's usually enough time, not too long. If using frozen shrimp make sure it's completely thawed before starting to cook. Make sure all shrimp is dried with paper towels before placing it in the cooking pan.
Sparky waiting for something ... 

And good luck in your cooking adventures,  and if you try this shrimp saganaki, I hope you enjoy it!

Sparky's the man! He loved sampling the shrimp saganaki!!!