This savory dish has the essence of a long-cooked soup or stew, but luckily takes only a fraction of the time to make. Onion, garlic, ginger, cumin, cilantro, and a pinch of cayenne punch up the flavor. If you don’t have shellfish stock on hand, you can swap out and use chicken broth, homemade is always preferable.
Found on FineCooking.com by a recipe from Joanne Smart, based on several of the reviewers comments who thought the dish was a bit bland as is, I made a few changes, most notably substituting homemade shellfish stock in place of the 1 1/2 cups water. My can of chickpeas was also larger at 19 ounces, I incorporated an entire lemon instead of a half, and I increased the amount of garlic, cumin and cayenne. And just because I felt like it, I used a full pound of shrimp as opposed to 3/4-pound. All of these “upgrades” are noted in the list below.
You may want to serve some crusty bread or pita pieces to mop up the tasty broth—I just used a spoon to capture all of the goodness. This is definitely a keeper, especially with the upgrades that I made. On top of tasting wonderful, it is chock full of healthy benefits and takes only about 25 minutes once prep is done. Bring it on!
Shrimp, Chickpeas and Spinach with Ginger and Cumin
- 1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Kosher salt
- 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large lemon, cut into 6 wedges
- 1 small onion (about 4 oz.), chopped
- 1-1/2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh ginger
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- Large pinch cayenne
- 1 19-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 2 bunches mature spinach, well washed, stemmed, and coarsely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups shellfish stock, preferably homemade (chicken broth can also be used)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- In a small bowl, toss the shrimp with 1/2 tsp. salt. Heat 1 Tbs. of the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot.
- Add the shrimp and cook until one side is pink, about 2 minutes. Turn the shrimp over and continue to cook until pink all over, still a bit translucent in the center, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Take the skillet off the heat and transfer the shrimp to a plate. Squeeze two of the lemon wedges over the shrimp.
- Put the skillet over medium heat. Pour the remaining 1 Tbs. oil into the skillet, then add the onion. Sprinkle with a big pinch of salt and cook until the edges of the onions begin to brown, about 5 minutes.
- Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 minute.
- Add the cumin and cayenne and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 20 seconds.
- Add 1-1/2 cups water, the chickpeas, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Simmer over medium-high heat for 5 minutes to develop the flavors.
- Using a potato masher, mash about half of the chickpeas right in the pan.
- Add the spinach and cilantro. Using tongs, carefully toss the greens to help them cook evenly and wilt, about 2 minutes.
- Add the reserved shrimp and any juices that have accumulated on the plate. Cook for another 1 or 2 minutes to reheat the shrimp and cook them fully (be careful not to overcook them).
- Season with salt to taste. Portion into warm bowls and serve with the remaining lemon wedges on the side.