Spanish Chickpeas with Kale

May 18, 2013
5 Ratings
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • Serves 3 to 4
Author Notes

Espinacas con garbanzos is one of my favorite dishes in Barcelona. Here, I made a version is a tad bit healthier, vegetarian, and uses kale instead of spinach. —Love and Lemons

What You'll Need
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 1 to 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon saffron
  • 1 1/2 cups chickpeas, cooked, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons to 3 sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 bunch kale, chopped
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 splash lemon juice (optional)
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (optional)
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the shallot, a pinch of salt, and cook until transluscent, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, paprika, and saffron. Stir, and cook until just aromatic, about 30 seconds, being careful not to let it burn.
  3. Add the chickpeas and a bit more salt. Stir to incorporate. Turn the heat of the burner up a bit, and let the chickpeas cook until they begin to turn golden brown, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the sherry vinegar and tomato paste, then the kale. Continue to cook for a few minutes until the kale is just wilted. Remove from the heat. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding a little lemon juice if necessary.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Broderick Proeger
    Broderick Proeger
  • Kristi Yamamoto
    Kristi Yamamoto
  • Adelucchi
  • Mollyh
  • Allie
My name is Jeanine Donofrio, author The Love & Lemons Cookbook and the food blog loveandlemons.com. I create healthy, seasonal, (mostly) vegetarian. I love kale, green tea, cake, and of course lemons.

23 Reviews

Broderick P. May 25, 2020
I added some red pepper to this, and it was good, although if I was to make it again I think I would leave out the vinegar altogether, as that overpowered all the other flavours.
Kristi Y. August 8, 2018
This was super easy to make and made for a great quick meal! I left out the saffron and subbed apple cider vinegar. I had some leftover and fried it up the next day with some runny eggs- sooooo good.
Adelucchi August 11, 2016
Just made this. Great! Modifications: spinach for kale, coconut oil for olive, apple cider vinegar for sherry, canned chick peas (love simply balanced brand from target. Organic low sodium and no "can taste"! And 1.49 13.4 oz ready to serve!. Threw in some baby carrots sliced thin. Next time I may follow the recipe or not. Thanks so much for the idea! Maybe a little bacon or sausage spicy sausage if you are not vegetarian­čÖä!
Mollyh May 10, 2016
This was ridiculously good. Plus healthy, easy and quick. Can't get much better than that! It's even vegan! Kudos, Love and Lemons.
Made without saffron (not a fan) and threw some sumac in at the end.
Allie February 13, 2016
Lovely! What I had on hand: spinach for kale, cider vinegar for sherry vinegar, and grains of paradise for saffron. Next time I will try sumac just for kicks. (We really dont like saffron, go figure). Almonds for pine nuts. Thats alot of subbing but had to try this and will be a great lunch at work too.
WildRiceLLC August 16, 2015
This was really delicious. I had a little trouble wilting the kale as my pain was very dry, so I did add water to create a steam with which to wilt the greens. I would use less saffron in the future as well and I think you might be able to leave it out altogether as the smoked paprika gives it a wonderful taste. It is a beautiful dish. We ate it as a main course along with marinated baked eggplants. It is a nice base recipe and I can see adding different components to it once you are comfortable making it. I did use a can of chickpeas which I drained and rinsed equal to the amount called for in the recipe. This is definitely a keeper. Thank you for posting it.
Helen K. June 21, 2015
If I use canned chickpeas instead, how much should I use?
Bethany A. March 10, 2014
Wow! So fragrant and beautiful! I had some saffron from my Iranian friends and smoked paprika that I always keep on hand because it does so much for a dish! We loved this recipe. Eating it for lunch and dinner.
creamtea October 30, 2013
Really delicious. I made it for dinner tonight. I didn't have tomato paste but threw in a handful of thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes softened in a very little hot water. In case my daughter might not like the kale I kept it separate. (She did, so next time, in it goes). I also retained the liquid from cooking the chickpeas and "deglazed" the saute pan, pouring it over the beans to keep it moist until dinnertime. Will be making this often.
susan G. July 15, 2013
Loved it! I had some fresh picked beet greens, the prep is a snap, and it's the kind of tastes that keep pleasantly active in the senses. For lunch, I ate it cold, and it's just as good or better like that (No saffron... By the time I was ready to overcome my fear of saffron, it was many years too old.)
Janis A. May 26, 2013
Smoked paprika?
Antonia A. May 30, 2013
It's the smoked, Spanish version vs. Hungarian paprika.
SAY May 26, 2013
a teaspoon of real saffron costs about $40 at Kalustyan's in NYC - can you recommend a substitute?
stephaniep May 29, 2013
thank you. seriously the idea of "stretching" your pantry is moot when the recipe has super expensive spices required.
balete June 12, 2013
Amazon has some options w/ different pricing or else maybe freshdirect?
creamtea October 29, 2013
Trader Joe's sometimes has saffron, as does Fairway; you could try adding just a few threads.
Jackie P. May 20, 2013
Delicious! I added cooked quinoa, roasted beets, real sherry, red wine vinegar, tumeric (instead of saffron) and roasted pumpkin seeds. Changed it up a bit, but the smoked paprika, tomato paste are sooo delicious!! Try it!
Love A. May 22, 2013
sounds delicious, glad you liked it!
Peggy H. May 20, 2013
I assume that the chickpeas in this recipe are already cooked? And what if you don't have sherry vinegar - what kind(s) of vinegars would make a reasonable substitute?
Love A. May 22, 2013
yes, cooked (thanks, I just updated that in the recipe). When I don't have sherry vinegar, I make this with big squeezes of lemon juice in it's place. I imagine white wine vinegar would work but I personally haven't tried it.
Peggy H. May 22, 2013
Stephie95 May 20, 2013
Do you have the nutritional info on this recipe?
Love A. May 22, 2013
no, but you can google for a nutritional calculator and easily plug the ingredients in. (and of course, alter the oil, etc, to fit your dietary needs).