As the largest Greek island, Crete has a little bit of everything, from popular long sandy beaches to quiet hidden coves and mountain villages. It also has a vibrant, but in many ways still burgeoning, winemaking scene that has quite the history; winemaking may have started here over 3,000 years ago by the ancient Greeks, but it wasn’t until the early 2000’s that the wines here started to get some attention. But pair these wines, that you can only get on Crete, with some delicious island cuisine — which is largely considered one of the healthiest diets in the world — and you have the makings of an incredible romantic cooking vacation.
The gastronomy on Crete is wide-ranging. From seafood to meat, there’s something for just about anyone, and with a number of farms on the island, you know you’re going to have a top-notch meal made only with the freshest of ingredients.
While seafood isn’t as plentiful on the island as it used to be, it still is, naturally, an important part of the cuisine. This particular prawn saganaki recipe, from the chef of our Cooking and Traditions of Crete, is a wonderful dish to not only make with your partner, but to share as well, making it just one of many wonderfully romantic dishes. It goes well with any white crisp wine, whether you’re making it in your home kitchen or whipping it up on a olive oil estate on Crete!
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Cook method: Sauté and Broil
- 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 scallions, minced
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp sugar
- ¼ tsp crushed red chili flakes
- 4 medium tomatoes, grated
- 3 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
- 16 large shrimp (about ¾ lb.), peeled and deveined
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 oz. feta
- 1 lemon, halved
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
1. Place a rack 4 inches from heating element; and turn your oven to broil.
2. Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat, and then add garlic and scallions; cook until soft, which will take about 3 to 4 minutes.
3. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes.
4. Add wine to the mix, and continue cooking until it’s reduced by half, about 3 to 4 minutes.
5. Add the oregano, sugar, chili flakes, and tomatoes, and bring the mixture to a boil.
6. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often, until the mixture slightly thickens. This should take about 12 minutes.
7. Add in the mint and shrimp, and then season with salt and pepper.
8. Crumble the feta over the top, and then place in the oven to broil until it bubbles, which should be 3 to 5 minutes.
9. Remove from oven, and then squeeze lemon over the top, and garnish with parsley.
Discover more Mediterranean dishes, and some of the healthiest cuisine in the world, with our Crete cooking vacation. The trip includes hands-on cooking classes with a popular local chef, as well as a visit to a winery and olive oil mill, among other excursions.
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