Kale: Catalonian (Spanish) Greens with Raisins and Pine Nuts

cooked Kale greens with golden raisins pine nuts Spanish Catalan

Kale – there’s so much more to make with this leafy green than kale chips. Try this easy recipe for Catalonian sautéed greens with raisins and pine nuts. In case you didn’t know Catalonia is an autonomous community in northeastern Spain . . . .

Yes. I’m back – with food facts and recipes.

It worked. The hints from FFC friends and followers about not having seen any posts in their email box or RSS feed.

I wish I could say I was traveling the world eating exotic food to my pansa’s (belly’s) content. Nope, I came down with a nasty summer bug that lingered and lingered. For nearly two months, I did a drastic clean up of my diet cutting out anything white (flour, sugar, dairy), alcohol, and even my go to remedy for all that ails me . . . chocolate.

Instead I upped the fruit and veggies and have been eating loads of leafy greens – kale , chard, beet greens, spinach, cabbage, etc. If you didn’t know it, leafy greens have anti-inflammatory properties and are full of anti-oxidants, plus they’re good for nutritional healing, particularly for the liver – when you/your body is stressed and your immune system is down.

I like greens raw and cooked, so eating them has been no chore for me.

This recipe for kale and chard with garlic, raisins, and pine nuts is just one adaptation of sautéed greens we’ve been eating for years. Mix it up depending on what’s in your garden, pantry and refrigerator. This raisin/pine nut (and/or almond) combination comes from Catalonia’s take on espinacas con pasas y pinones (spinach with raisins and pine nuts), although they also use other leafy greens.

Espinacas with Raisins and Pine Nuts is usually a first course and is popular in other parts of the Mediterranean from Sicily to Greece. It also makes an excellent side.

This version, and my preference, is to use kale or a kale/chard combo, since spinach is less hearty and wilts much more. I also prefer to saute the greens and skip the parboiling that’s generally customary to other recipes. The greens are finished with orange juice, a technique I picked up from Bryant Terry, a chef and author of Vegan Soul Kitchen.

Kale and other leafy greens are abundant and vibrant now with the cooler temps. So next time you score some, try this Spanish favorite. For all my readers who are into Southern and Soul Food, you’re sure to like these – they’ve replaced the traditionally cooked greens in our house.

Glad to be back. Happy eating!

Tidbits on Kale:

  1. Kale is a variety of cabbage that descended from wild cabbage native to the Mediterranean region.
  2. Kale may have been the first cultivated cabbage.
  3. Kale was one of the most common green vegetables in Europe until the middle ages.

Catalonian (Spanish) Greens with Raisins and Pine Nuts

Serves 2

To increase your fiber, you can also use the stems from the greens, cooking them first and longer.


1 bunch kale (I prefer lacinato), remove stems

1 bunch chard, remove stems

1/3 cup golden raisins

1/4 cup orange juice

1/4 cup pine nuts

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 teaspooon salt

Black pepper

Pinch red pepper flakes


  1. De-stem greens. Stack and roll leafy greens into a cigar shape, thinly slice into ribbons about ½ inch thick.
  2. Soak raisins in orange juice; set aside.
  3. Toast pine nuts in a large, dry, heave-skillet until golden brown; remove and set aside.
  4. Heat olive oil in the same large skillet over medium heat. Add kale greens first (they take longer to cook than chard). Cook for a few minutes until they begin to soften, tossing occasionally. Add minced garlic, stir, then add chard. Saute for about two minutes until chard begins to soften, careful not to burn garlic. Add more olive oil if the greens are too dry. Season with salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes. When nearly cooked, add orange juice and raisins. Toss and adjust seasoning. Serve warm or room temperature.


Ingredients:  sliced red onion, slivered almonds, shaved manchego or parmesan

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Print & If you liked this post, please share:
  • Print
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Google Bookmarks

Tags: , , ,

14 Responses to Kale: Catalonian (Spanish) Greens with Raisins and Pine Nuts

  1. Chelby King says:

    This will be part of my Thanksgiving. Thanks.

  2. Lea Ann says:

    So glad you’re feeling better! And how smart to ramp up on the greens. I think this combination sounds very tasty and will be trying it soon.

  3. Karen Harris says:

    I agree with Chelby, this is a great idea for the Thanksgiving table. I am so glad to see that you are posting and feeling better now. I hope to see you soon.

  4. Welcome back. My scenario was that you WERE traveling around the globe, sampling exotica. Glad you kicked the bug and am looking forward to reading/trying your fab recipes.

  5. Glad to hear you are feeling better, being sick is no fun – Especially in the summer. This recipe sounds very healthy and tasty. I will be sure to try it out. Once you are ready to fall off the wagon call me up for some tequila tasting. LOL!

  6. I just made sauteed kale the other night, but next time I’ll try it your way with the raisins. Welcome back!

  7. Glad to hear you are feeling better and back at the blog!

  8. Glad you’re back and have beat the bug. I’m looking forward to more of your healthy recipes.

  9. Lana says:

    Welcome back, Andrea! There is no worse time to pick up a bug than in the summer! I am glad you managed to conquer it:)
    I love greens of any kind, too, and have been having a great time exploring my mom’s freezer here in Serbia (nettle, chard, sorrel, spinach – all picked in spring, blanched and stored neatly in baggies)!
    I have not seen kale here, but I am sure that I’ll be able to find it in the U.S. as soon as I go back – love the combination of flavors in the recipe!

  10. I’ve tried this with spinach but never with kale–I’ve tried kale so many times but it’s never won me over. I wonder if I just need to find the right recipe…Glad you’re better!

  11. Azahara says:

    Hi there,

    I just came across your blog (nice job, btw!) because I’m trying to find kale in my area, but it’s proving very hard. I live on the outskirts of Barcelona, and each time I ask for kale I’m offered some variety of cabbage.
    I know this is a strange question, but do think it cannot be found in southern Europe due to the warm weather?

  12. Azahara says:

    Hi there,

    I just came across your blog (nice job, btw!) because I’m trying to find kale in my area, but it’s proving very hard. I live on the outskirts of Barcelona, and each time I ask for kale I’m offered some variety of cabbage.
    I know this is a strange question, but do think it cannot be found in southern Europe due to the warm weather?


  13. JeSsita says:

    It’s true! I’m from the South and we really suck at eiantg:) Should we ever decide to eat greens (usually collards), we cook them with bacon! It’s a wonder we’re the most overweight part of the country! Good piece

  14. Steven S. says:

    I just tried this tonight and it turned out fabulous! I followed the recipe, but made mine using bagged kale, asparagus, toasted almonds, and regular raisins. This dish had that special extra “oomph” you get when you eat at very good restaurant. Will absolutely make this again using the basic method but trying different ingredients. 5 out of 5 stars

Post Your Comment