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Escarole

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Generally I've made this as a salad and enjoyed the bitterness. In what ways do you cook escarole? Could I steam/boil it like you would dandelion greens and then serve with lemon and olive oil?

I also got some beautiful baby bok choy. I've always used this in my asian stir fries but can this be prepared in a mediterannean style? Maybe sauteed? Is it a sweet flavor or a bitter flavor?

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post #2 of 10
My absolutely favorite is to make soup out of it. In fact i rarely make it any other way. I often boil up enough for two or three days, and cook the rice separately and keep them both in the fridge and i never tire of it.

Take escarole, wash, cut roughly (if you want - just so they don't become long strands in your mouth. The easiest way is right on the head, cutting through the length of the leaves in half, all the way through the whole head), and put in a soup pot with a carrot cut up, an onion, a stalk of celery and a couple of garlic cloves. You can leave out any of the above. Don't do a soffritto, it's not necessary and complicates the freshness of the flavor.

Fill to cover with water, add salt and pepper to taste, and boil about ahalf hour to an hour.

I cook rice separately, so it doesn;t get soggy in the leftover. Add the rice to the soup bowl with the soup, add a good handful of parmigiano and that's it. (If you make enough rice for leftovers, put it in the fridge, then when you heat the soup, put the rice in the bowl and ladle the soup over it and it brings it to the perfect temperature),

variations: this is one of the greatest places to use the crust of the parmigiano - wash with a brush and add to the soup. It gives some flavor to the soup, but especvially it's good when you eat it in the soup - chewy and bitey at the same time.

Another is to make very small meatballs and add to the soup (without browning, this time) - The soup is a one dish meal for me anyway, but with mushrooms is even more so.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #3 of 10
I love it in soup as Siduri does, but I also braise it and dress it with lemon juice and olive oil. I start by sauteeing it in a little olive oil and minced garlic, and season it with salt and pepper. Then I add a small amount of chicken broth (or water), turn the heat down, and cover it. Give it about 20 minutes, and you'll have a delicious side dish. It's good leftover (cold), too.
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post #4 of 10
great wilted with spinach, white raisins, pinenuts.....garlic/onions....

super in Italian meatball soup
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post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions, I've been meaning to try it in soup, can't wait to add it. But Mezzaluna this is exactly the type of side dish I was looking to serve minus the garlic since garlic will be permeating the other dishes. So after you braise it with a little olive oil do you then add olive oil/lemon dressing or is it oily enough from the braise?

I've seen some other recipes with raisins as well. My guess is that it compliments the bitterness?

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #6 of 10
My grandmother used to make what I call endive gravy (my sister still calls it weed gravy). We ate it with endive or dandelion greens. I have asked my mother a hundred times how to make it, as I can never remember. The last time, I made a big show of writing it down, but can't remember where I wrote it. Anyway, it was similar to the hot bacon dressing used on spinach, but was thicker and white. I know it was thickened by stirring flour into the bacon drippings, but can't remember if it has milk in it or not. I kind of think it does. I remember it being passed in a bowl to be poured over raw endive, but my mother insists it was tossed with the endive until wilted. I have never known anyone else to make this. My grandmother was from a German family and was raised in Indiana. To make it, you would brown bacon and remove it from the pan. Stir flour into the bacon drippings. Add sugar and vinegar to taste (depends on how much you're making) and add milk (I think) to thin.
post #7 of 10
Without the milk, that sounds like a wilted greens salad my g-parents made when I was a kid. Bacon and green onions fried till crisp, the pan essentially deglazed with vinegar and oil and then the whole hot pan was actually flipped over onto the salad greens to wilt them.
post #8 of 10
I make the Escarole steamed and then tossed with some olive oil, browned garlic and let is simmer with some white wine and a complete can of cannelli beans (liquid too)... when it's simmering to lose the liquid I also add some reggiano to get it 'creamy'...

I have another recipe for it in a bread that you make the day before.

It's funny, and I know Siduri will know this one, if you say Escarole in Italian, that's my last name!! I never have to spell my name in Italy... EVER but I'm on the menu a lot :lol:
post #9 of 10
Koukouvagia, I just sprinkle a little lemon juice over it to give it a shot of brightness. I don't usually add more oil. I guess you could sprinkle some lemon zest on instead if you want less acid in the dish but want the lemon flavor.
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post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Turned out great. I ended up cooking it like pasta (tossed it in a pot of salted boiling water) and then dressed it. I was surprised at how sweet it turned out. I usually eat it raw because I enjoy its bitterness.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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