Wilted Escarole with Crispy Chickpeas


Created for the Braiser


  1. Trim the root end of the escarole, discarding any tough outer leaves. Cut leaves crosswise into 2-inch pieces. Clean them in the sink or a large bowl full of cold water by agitating vigorously for 30 seconds. Let sit for a few minutes to allow any grit to settle to the bottom. Lift the leaves carefully out of the water and dry in a spinner or on a clean towel.
  2. Drain, rinse and thoroughly dry the chickpeas on a paper towel. Season with salt, pepper, paprika and cumin.
  3. In a braiser set over medium heat, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the seasoned chickpeas and cook until they begin to blister, stirring only once or twice, about 4 – 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep warm near the stove. Wipe out any spices left in the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add the remaining oil and garlic cloves to the pan. Cook until the cloves are fragrant and starting to turn golden, being careful not to burn. Add the escarole, in batches if necessary, and stir to coat with oil. Add more oil if needed. Season with salt and pepper, cover with lid and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until barely wilted, about 10 minutes.
  5. Remove the lid. Add lemon juice and sugar, stirring to combine. Taste and season again if necessary. Top with chickpeas and lemon zest.


  • 2 large bunches escarole (or other hearty green such a kale or chard)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • Zest and juice from one lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar

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Preparation Time : 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serving Size: 6-8