Spicy Shrimp with Pan-Seared Romaine and Chickpea Puree

Chef Mourad Lahlou of Aziza in San Francisco performs pantry alchemy to create this elegant dish. To complement his spicy Sriracha mayo–marinated shrimp, he serves a cooling puree of canned chickpeas, tahini and lebneh (a thick, strained yogurt cheese, available at Middle Eastern markets). For a quick cheat, you can use store-bought hummus and mix in Greek yogurt. Slideshow:  Quick Fish RecipesRecipe from Food & Wine Chefs' Easy Weeknight Dinners

Spicy Shrimp with Pan-Seared Romaine and Chickpea Puree
Photo: © Fredrika Stjärne
Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
45 mins



  • One 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  • 1/4 cup tahini

  • 1/4 cup lebneh or plain Greek yogurt

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  • 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar

  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt


  • 1/4 cup grapeseed or other neutral oil

  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot

  • Kosher salt 

  • Freshly ground pepper

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise

  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha

  • 1 pound shelled and deveined large shrimp

  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 4 small romaine hearts, halved lengthwise

  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest 


Make the chickpea puree

  1. In a food processor, pulse the chickpeas until finely chopped. Add the tahini, lebneh, garlic, vinegar, salt and 2 tablespoons of water and puree until very smooth; add more water if needed for a smooth puree. Spread a scant 1/4 cup on each of 4 plates. Reserve the rest of the puree for a dip or another use.

Prepare the romaine and shrimp

  1. In a small bowl, whisk the grapeseed oil with the sherry and balsamic vinegars and the shallot; season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper. In a medium bowl, mix the mayonnaise and Sriracha; add the shrimp and turn to coat.

  2. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over moderately high heat. Add the romaine hearts cut side down and cook until browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to the plates, cut side up.

  3. In the same skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add half of the shrimp and cook, turning once, until browned and just white throughout, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to 2 of the plates. Repeat with the remaining olive oil and shrimp.

  4. Whisk the vinaigrette and spoon it over the romaine and shrimp. Garnish with the sesame seeds and lemon zest and serve.

Make Ahead

The chickpea puree can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

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