One of my favorite meals from our trip to Greece last summer was a somewhat random lunch in Iraklion, Crete. We were on our way to the Iraklion Archaeological Museum and the Knossos archaeological site – and we were quite hungry from our bus ride from Chania that morning. As we walked towards the museum, we stopped at a beautiful little restaurant and grabbed a table outside. We were in a hurry and didn’t want to splurge, so just ordered a Greek salad and a shrimp saganaki dish (shrimp cooked in spicy red sauce with feta) to share.
Wow. The salad was so fresh, with special herbs from the Cretan mountains incorporated, and the shrimp dish was just perfect. I couldn’t help but try to recreate it recently, and though it really is impossible to do the meal justice, it was fun to relive the experience just a bit.
Thanks to Aglaia Kremezi’s cookbook, The Foods of the Greek Islands, I had a strong recipe to work off of for the shrimp saganaki. I reduced crushed tomatoes over the stove and cooked the shrimp in the middle of all of the spicy goodness. I actually tried out a different cheese on top, myzithra. Feta may have been a better choice for this dish, but it was fun to try another Greek cheese.
On the side, a simple Greek salad. I took pita bread and wrapped up the salad leftovers with hummus for lunches the rest of the week and kept the flavors going. Oh, to be back at that little restaurant in Crete… in the meantime, I’m grateful for these recipes to take me back just a bit!