Monday, February 4, 2013

Basil Chickpea Puree With Shrimp and Roasted Veggies

That's a long title.  And kind of a long recipe.  But at the end of the post, I'll share how you could lessen your time in the kitchen with some shortcuts.

The original recipe is just for the puree and the shrimp.  I don't do shrimp, so I thought roasted veggies sounded like a good topper.  Also, it's supposed to be served at room temp.  Bleh.  Personally, I like hot food to be hot.  I'm not a leftover pasta straight out of the fridge girl.  So I served ours hot.

I'm a garbanzo bean super fan.  Add basil, veggies, and some yummy bread with oil and vinegar, and this meal had all of my favorite things.  Except cheese.  It would have been good with some Parm sprinkled on top, but wasn't necessary, so I left well enough alone.

Here's the recipe, out of the September issue of R.R, with my notes:

Chickpea Puree with Poached Shrimp

1/2 lb dried chickpeas
6 cloves peeled garlic, divided
4 bay leaves
1 C fresh basil leaves, tightly packed
1/2 C plus 3 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 C toasted pinenuts (or almonds,walnuts, pecans, etc.)
Coarse salt and pepper
1 small carrot, sliced
1 small celery rib, cut into 1-inch chunks
1/2 small onion
1 lb large shrimp (about 14 to 20 count), peeled, except for tails, and deveined

Soak the chickpeas overnight in water; drain.
(Alternately, use the quick-soak method:  Place the chickpeas in a large pot with water to cover by 2 inches.  Boil for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and let sit for 1 hours, then drain.)

In a large saucepan, bring 3 qt. water and the soaked chickpeas to a boil.
Add 4 cloves garlic and 2 bay leaves.
Cook until the chickpeas are tender, about 45 minutes.
Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water.
Discard the bay leaves and let the chickpeas cool.

Using a food processor, puree the cooked chickpeas and garlic and reserved cooking water.
  Remove with a spatula and press through a mesh sieve.

Immediately after this picture was taken, I decided there was no way I was gonna stand there for 15 minutes trying to mush all that through.  It was going waaaaaay too slow.  So I skipped the sieve part.

Meanwhile, place the basil and remaining 2 cloves garlic in the food processor.

With the machine running, drizzle in the 1/2 C EVOO and puree until well combined.
Add the pinenuts and pulse until smooth.

Add the chickpea puree, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.
Blend all together.

In a medium saucepan, bring 6 cups water, the carrot, celery, onion and remaining 2 bay leaves to a boil; cook for 20 minutes.
Add the shrimp and cook just until opaque, 1 to 2 minutes.
Drain, discard the vegetables and let the shrimp cool.
In a bowl, toss the shrimp with the remaining 3 Tbsp. EVOO; season with salt and pepper.

To serve, spoon the chickpea puree onto a platter or individual plates and set the shrimp on top.
Drizzle with the remaining oil from the tossed shrimp.

Like I mentioned above, we ate ours hot.
I had the puree ready to go earlier in the day, so I just heated it up in a saucepan over low heat.
The shrimp were served as soon as they were done cooking.

I also roasted some veggies in the oven.
I tossed everything with olive oil, salt and pepper.
I started out with eggplant and whole garlic cloves, and cooked them at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Then I threw on some yellow bell pepper and roma tomatoes and let them go about 12 minutes more.
I put the veggies over the puree for me, and veggies and shrimp for The Dad and kids.
We had bread to go with.

Here's the Dad's dinner on his plate:

And The Mom's:

I drizzled mine with a balsamic reduction as well.

Yeah, that was really good.

Now for some shortcuts: 
This was the first time I had ever cooked dry garbanzo beans.  I don't know why, but I've always just bought the canned.  There's no reason why you couldn't use them here.  Two cans would yield about the same amount as 1/2 C of dry.
Basil.  It's expensive, especially in the winter.  Throw in some store-bought pesto instead.  Or the stash of homemade you have in the freezer.  :o)
Shrimp.  Since they're not my cup of tea, I can't really recommend how you should eat them, but I'd guess that your favorite sauteed or grilled recipe would be good here.
Veggies.  Use what you like.  If you don't have time to oven roast them, saute or steam some.  Or, if you're grillin' your shrimp, throw them on at the same time.

There ya go.  I've turned it into a 30 minute meal for ya. Don't say I never gave ya anything.


  1. I love all of the components of this baby,....though I was a huge basil pesto slacker this year, bought it is I guess. :)

  2. Ok so I can totally rock this...I have frozen pesto in the freezer ( have to make mine with garbanzo beans cause my little man has a peanut/nut allergy) and I'm thinking like you that I would do veggies! It looks delic...I will let you know how we do!! Thanks for sharing this one!!

  3. Oh yum! I'm putting my chickpeas up to soak as soon as I get up from here.

    I think we must think alike: when I saw the sieve I thought "really? nope, I'll skip that", and when I saw the puree the basil and garlic I thought "I think I'll just use my frozen pesto cubes (I freeze pesto in ice cube trays and keep the cubes in a freezer bag).

  4. Wow. This looks delicious and really healthy too.

  5. Seriously, instant drool when I saw that puree. DELISH!


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