Sauteed Escarole with Garlic and fresh Parmesan
Recipe Redux – November, 2014: Thankful Food Memories
Most of my fondest memories with friends revolve around food. OK, I guess that is not so surprising a statement coming from a foodie. However, with so much thought and time and preparation put into so many dishes, I find it ironic that often it is the simplest dishes that linger the most with fondness.
Enter escarole. The first time I tried some of it was in a bowl of wedding soup. Of course, that was not much of a true escarole experience as there was so little green to be found floating amongst the meatballs. Fast forward a few years later, when my dear Italian cuisine-loving friends eventually introduced me to some
homemade, sauteed escarole and- oh boy! My life has never been the same.
When you look at a head of escarole in the produce section, it really doesn’t look like anything much (no offense escarole!) But take a little time to chop it up and saute it down in a pan and you end up with something really quite special. While many greens turn dull and lifeless with cooking, escarole gets deeper and richer and more delicious with each minute over heat.
The key to making memorable escarole – be FRESH:
1. Fresh escarole
2. Lots of garlic. Use fresh chopped, not jarred
3. Use fresh lemon juice (no concentrated stuff)
4. Freshly grate Parmesan yourself (no pre-grated)
This recipe I provided here calls for baguette slices to serve your sauteed escarole on, which makes for the most delicious (and greenest) garlic bread you will ever eat! I used Schar’s gluten-free baguettes, which toast up in 5 just minutes in a 400 degree oven. Do make sure to lightly spray your baguette slices with a bit of olive oil before baking for the best results.
In the mood for more of a meal than an appetizer? In that case, simply toss the cooked escarole mixture with some of your favorite cooked pasta, olive oil plus juice of another 1/2 lemon. Sauteed broccoli and boiled, chopped egg also pairs nicely with the escarole pasta too.
Felice sana alimentazione!
1.5 pounds Escarole, rinse, dried
2 teaspoons Olive oil
Pinch Hot pepper flakes (optional)
5-6 cloves Garlic, chopped
to taste Black pepper, fresh ground
Pinch Sea salt
1/2 medium Lemon
1/8 cup Parmesan, fresh grated
1 large Baguette, gluten-free, sliced on bias and toasted
Chop escarole into either thin strips or small pieces. Discard the tough core.
Heat saute pan over medium heat and add olive oil and hot pepper flakes. Add garlic to oil and saute a 1/2 minute. Add about 1/3 of the chopped escarole, or as much as will fit into the pan without spilling as you saute. As the escarole wilts, add more raw escarole to the pan. When all the escarole is in the pan. Saute until leaves are wilted and cooked though, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat; and add the black pepper, salt and lemon juice and toss well.