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Greek Seared Shrimp with red pepper flakes and basil



Serves six as an appetizer


1 pound fresh shrimp
3 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup dry white wine
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
3-4 whole basil leaves for garnish
Juice and zest of ½ lemon


Peel and devein shrimp, leaving the tails on. The tails prevent the shrimp from curling during cooking, allowing them to become “finger-food” for a buffet. Dry the shrimp on towels before cooking.

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over high heat, reducing the heat to medium-high if the oil begins to smoke. Place shrimp in one layer in pan and turn as soon as the undersides become pink. Turn and cook the second side of the shrimp and remove immediately from the pan. This should take only seconds per side. Continue the process until all shrimp have cooked. Set cooked shrimp aside.

Lower the heat to medium and add the minced garlic to the pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until garlic is golden brown, but not burned. Add the wine to deglaze the pan, and turn the heat back up to high. Add the shrimp, red pepper flakes, and chopped basil and cook until most of the liquid is evaporated (just a minute or two).

Remove the shrimp to a serving dish and sprinkle with lemon juice and zest. Garnish with whole basil leaves.

Serve immediately or at room temperature.


Order Greek Revival: Cooking for Life from the University of South Carolina Press.

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