garlic shrimp and chickpeas

You know that maxim, “Opposites attract”?  Well, I’ve recently been ruminating on this saying, and I have to say that–in my experience–it pretty much rings true.  And I have examples to back up my thesis (my eight grade English teacher would be so proud):

1) I was an English major, Nate was a Computer Science major.  I’m short, Nate’s tall.  I’m strong-willed, Nate’s laid back.  And yet we make a pretty dynamic duo, if I do say so myself.

2) Stripes and florals, one of my favorite pattern mixes.  Who knew they could live together so harmoniously?

3) Bacon and chocolate.  Enough said.

Now, I guess shrimp and chickpeas aren’t exactly “opposites.”  But they certainly don’t jump out at me as perfect complements either.  Because when I hear “shrimp”, I think “pasta.”  And “chickpeas” makes me think “veggies.”  So I was intrigued when I found this recipe for Garlic Shrimp and Chickpeas in Food Network Magazine’s April 2011 issue, and I knew that I had to try it on for size.

You start by coating your chickpeas with olive oil and Kosher salt.  Bake them in a single layer for 20 minutes at 450 degrees.  In the meantime, you marinate your shrimp in olive oil, salt, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, and all other sorts of yummy goodness.  When you pull the chickpeas out of the oven, toss the marinated shrimp on top and bake a few minutes longer.  And voilà!, you have dinner.

And a really satisfying dinner, at that.  The shells of the chickpeas get a nice crunch from the oven, the shrimp are garlicky and lemony, and each bite is homey, delicious heaven.

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