Savory Shrimp with Chickpeas, Green Olives, and Preserved Lemon

By • June 11, 2014 5 Comments

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Author Notes: This one-pot of savory goodness doesn't take much time to prepare, and it can be eaten warm or cold. This recipe's roots place it in North Africa, but it is simple to prepare and oh-so delicious. The preserved lemon adds a fantastic, somewhat zippy, quality. No need for salt here with the satiny lemon and the briny olives. Dig in.Melina Hammer

Serves 3 to 4

  • 1/3 garlic scape, or 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Good olive oil
  • 12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails left on
  • Cracked pepper
  • 8 ounces dried chickpeas
  • 2 cups shrimp stock, or water
  • 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 handfuls spiced green olives
  • 1 preserved lemon, rinsed and sliced into thin strips
  • 1 handful fresh mint leaves
  1. In a bowl, combine finely chopped garlic scape or garlic clove, juice from the lemon, a couple glugs of olive oil, and the shrimp. Stir to combine, season with a little cracked pepper, and refrigerate. Marinade overnight.
  2. Soak chickpeas in water to cover overnight. Drain and cook them in the shrimp stock if you have it (or use water). Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until chickpeas are tender. Remove from heat and set aside. This can be done a day in advance.
  3. In a good glug of olive oil, sauté the garlic until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the chickpeas and some of their liquid and cook until it starts to bubble.
  4. Stirring to incorporate, add the pepper flakes, the paprika, cumin, and olives, and some freshly cracked black pepper. The mixture in the pan should be hot and bubbling to help the liquid reduce.
  5. Add the sliced preserved lemon, give it another stir, and then remove from heat. Empty the mixture into a large bowl and return the pan to the stove.
  6. On high heat, warm another glug of olive oil. Once the oil smiles add the shrimp, a few at a time so as not to crowd the pan. Sear until well golden and crisp in places - about 2-3 minutes a side -- then add to the chickpea mixture.
  7. Once you have cooked all the shrimp, deglaze the pan with any remaining shrimp stock -- or white wine if you have it -- and pour the bubbling liquid over everything. (you could use water here, too). Carefully stir everything together. Taste for seasoning, adding any final bits of sliced preserved lemon should you have (or want) them.
  8. Serve in shallow bowls with torn mint.

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