Tomato-Poached Fish with Kale and Chickpeas Recipe

Tomato-Poached Fish with Kale and Chickpeas Recipe

[Photographs: Yasmin Fahr]

With kale coming back in season with a vengeance, it seemed only fitting to make a warming fall dish with some fresh kale and chickpeas (to make it a little heartier). For those of you with a CSA, sometimes it feels like the more ways you can use kale, the better, right?

Poaching fish in a liquid like tomato sauce allows it to cook gently, with less risk of overcooking it. While I served this dish with lemon wedges for a little more acid, feel free to use lime instead. Similarly, there was an abundance of cilantro in my refrigerator so that's what I chopped up and sprinkled on top, but feel free to use fresh parsley or thyme. Another option, if aren't already tired of them already, is to leave out the fish entirely if you want a vegetarian dish.

For a dish with a little more heat, add a pinch or two of dried red chile flakes. A crusty piece of bread to soak up extra juices wouldn't hurt either.

  • Yield:Serves 3
  • Active time: 20 minutes
  • Total time:30 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced (about ¾ cups)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 (14-ounce) can drained chickpeas
  • 1 bunch kale, preferably lacinato or dinosaur, stems and tough center ribs removed, leaves roughly chopped (about 5 cups)
  • ¼ cup low-sodium store-bought or homemade chicken broth
  • 1 pound cod or other flaky white fish, cut into 3 to 4 filets
  • ½ cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


  1. 1.

    Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the shallots and a pinch of salt, stirring until the shallots soften, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juice. Allow the tomatoes to cook until softened, breaking them up with a wooden spoon or potato masher, about 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

  2. 2.

    Add the chickpeas, kale, and chicken broth, stirring until kale is wilted. Bring to a simmer then lower heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Allow to cook until the kale has completely softened, about 15 minutes.

  3. 3.

    Reduce heat to lowest possible setting. Place fish directly on top of mixture, nestling it slightly. Cover and cook until fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork, about 10 minutes. Ladle the stew and fish into bowls, sprinkle with chopped cilantro, and serve with lemon wedges.