Shrimp in Lemon Sauce with Olives ~ this 30 minute meal will transport you to the Greek Isles with its silky lemon sauce and rich, briny olives. The health news on the Mediterranean Diet just keeps getting better and better ~ lucky us!
I love Greek food. I love all Mediterranean food, but have a special weakness for Greek flavors. Greek cooking is sunny, simple, and so good for you. When I think Greece I think olives and olive oil, seafood, lemons, wine, feta cheese, and lots of fresh herbs. Any combination of these ingredients make an amazing meal!
If you google Greek shrimp you’ll come up with lots of recipes that use tomatoes and feta cheese. That’s how I used to do shrimp all the time until I discovered this amazing lemon sauce. It’s the same sauce I used in my Greek Meatballs in Lemon Sauce, and that recipe was sent to me by a reader who lives in Athens (thank you Alexandra!!) The sauce is so versatile that I’ve been able to translate it into many different meals. My Chicken in Lemon Sauce with Olives is the poultry version, if you’re not a shrimp lover.
The sauce is a simple, almost primal ~ it consists of stock (in this case chicken or fish) thickened with a mixture of fresh lemon juice and egg yolks. It looks creamy, but there is no dairy in it. The flavor and texture is pure heaven, and goes so well with the bite of the olives. I used both Greek cracked olives and an oil cured Moroccan variety. It really pays to buy your olives fresh from an olive bar rather than rely on jarred, there are so many to choose from and they go so well with healthy Mediterranean dishes.
TIP: It’s hard to find pitted olives in any kind of variety, so I leave the pits in and warn my diners.
I typically serve this with rice or couscous so that none of the sauce goes to waste, but sometimes I’ll just pair it with some crusty bread. If you love the ease of cooking with shrimp, you may want to try my Chimichurri Shrimp, the sauce can be made ahead and the rest takes just minutes. If you want something even easier, try these Salt and Pepper Shrimp Skewers, you don’t even need to peel the shrimp!
- 1 lb medium or large shrimp, peeled and deveined (leave the tails on if you like)
- olive oil
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (you can use up to 1/2 cup for a super lemony flavor)
- 1 cup chicken or fish stock
- salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
- 1 cup mixed olives
- fresh thyme leaves
- Whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice together until smooth and set aside.
- Lightly coat the bottom of a skillet with olive oil and heat on medium heat until hot. Saute the shrimp for about 4 minutes, turning once, until they are pink and cooked through. Remove to a plate, cover and keep warm.
- Heat the stock in a medium saucepan until it comes to a boil. Whisk about 1/2 cup of the hot stock into the egg yolks to temper them. Pour the yolk mixture into the pan slowly, while whisking, and continue to heat on medium, stirring constantly, until the mixture just starts to thicken and comes to a simmer. NOTE: it won't get really thick, it will just get a little thicker and glossier. Once it comes to a simmer take off the heat immediately and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour the sauce into a medium casserole or gratin dish and place the shrimp in the sauce. Top with the olives and thyme. Serve immediately with rice, couscous, or crusty bread.
- Shrimp takes to all kinds of flavors really well, and sometimes I feel like spicing things up…this Chili Garlic Shrimp gets its zing from briefly marinating in lemon, garlic, and chili powder. If you think you can handle it, take the heat up a notch further with my Shrimp Fra Diavolo, below…