Grilled lemons impart a smoky flavor to this yummy version of “beans and greens”
“Beans and greens” is always a favorite meal in our household, and here’s a delicious example. Even though this recipe is extremely simple it’s bursting with flavor, thanks in part to the grilled lemons – squeezed right before you take your first bite. The mellow lemon juice adds a tangy, slightly smoky flavor to the dish that’s just marvelous. You can never overlook these little touches: they’re the ones that make a recipe stand out. Serve this dish as a side, appetizer, tapa… or simply as a perfect, healthy lunch.
Cooking chickpeas from scratch makes this dish all the more delicious
Needless to say, cooking your own chickpeas makes this dish even more delicious (for some great tips, take a look at my post on how to cook dried beans)! I like to cook a batch at the beginning of the week. The beans and their cooking liquid keep in the refrigerator for several days. Then a recipe like this one can be made at the drop of a hat.
A healthy comfort food, par excellence
To me, a bowl of these succulent chickpeas with wilted spinach is healthy comfort food par excellence! Here are a few more recipes you might enjoy with one of my favorite legumes.
Avocado hummus with toasted coriander & avocado oil
Spanish chickpea stew served with toasted couscous
Bulgur & chickpeas with roasted tomatoes and grilled halloumi
Summer chopped salad with cilantro-lime vinaigrette & crispy chickpea “croutons”
Orecchiette with wilted spinach, chickpeas & Pimentón
Chickpeas, wilted spinach & grilled lemons
active time: 20 min
For the grilled lemon
- 1 lemon – quartered lengthwise
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- sea salt to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the chickpeas
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
- 2 large garlic cloves – skinned and very thinly sliced
- 3 cups cooked chickpeas – drained
- 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid from the chickpeas (or spring water)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
- 8 oz (225 g) baby spinach
- extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
- Step 1: Preheat a gas grill or griddle to high heat. Brush the lemon slices with the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill the slices on both sides until grill marks appear. Set aside.
- Step 2: Heat a large heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat. Add the oil, chili pepper flakes and garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds until the garlic softens, but don’t let it brown. Add the chickpeas and reserved cooking liquid. Continue to sauté for 1 minute until warmed through. Add the salt and half the spinach. As soon as the spinach starts to wilt, add the balance of the spinach, tossing continuously until the rest of the spinach just starts to wilt, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and transfer to a serving bowl. Drizzle with a little olive oil and garnish with the grilled lemon slices. Squeeze the lemon over the dish at the table.