Escarole is sweeter sautéed, but adds a nice crunch in a seasonal salad. Roughly chop it and toss with Dijon vinaigrette to cut the bitterness. Or, for something a bit more elaborate, make xató, a classic Catalan salad topped with a romesco-like sauce, and served with anchovy, tuna, and salt cod (baccala). Make the most of January's bounty with two different types of escarole salad when you read more.
With whole-grain pasta and hearty, filling chickpeas, there's no need to bring meat into this meal at all, which is good for your wallet, your waistline, and your carbon footprint. Wishing it were dinnertime already? For the recipe, read more.
One thing I look forward to during the Winter months is the arrival of the leafy green escarole. It's a variety of endive, making it a bitter green, but it's much less bitter than Belgian endive, radicchio, or frisée.
Like most leafy greens, escarole is great for you. It's high in folic acid, vitamins A and K, and fiber. It also contains a good amount of vitamin C and potassium. When shopping for escarole, look for a bunch that is brightly colored with perky leaves, and avoid bunches that have browning or yellow limp leaves. Make sure to wash the leaves thoroughly before you use them and cut off a tiny bit of the stem too. I can usually get away with storing escarole for about five days in a plastic bag in my refrigerator.
What's great about escarole is how many uses you can get out of it. It tastes wonderful cooked in pasta with an olive oil-based sauce, and in Italy it's used widely in hearty Winter soups — one of the most popular being a white bean escarole soup. You can chop up a few leaves raw and add it to a salad for extra dimension, or try it my favorite way: saute the escarole with olive oil, a little salt, fresh garlic, and some chili flakes. I love this dish!
Cooking escarole makes it less bitter, but a trick to tone done raw escarole is to soak it in ice cold water for about 20 to30 minutes. This will also work for other bitter greens too.
Have you tried escarole? Share with me how you like to prepare it in the comments section below.
Source: Flickr User wickenden
My obsession with all things Spanish is no secret. From José Andrés to Crianza to paella, if it's Spanish, I love it! This affection includes manchego, Spain's most famous cheese. Manchego cheese is protected by a Denominación de Origen, meaning it can only be made from sheep that graze in the La Mancha region of Spain. The whole sheep's milk cheese must also be aged in natural caves for a minimum of two months.
Depending on how long it's aged, the flavor can range from mild to sharp. Manchego comes in a round shape and is cut into chunky wedges. The inedible rind gets its pattern from the manufacturing process that involves wrapping the cheese in sheets of a special woven grass. Manchego tastes creamy and slightly salty. Learn how to use the versatile Spanish cheese and check out the recipe for this scrumptious pizza when you read more
Jump-start your weekend with a healthy, heart-friendly dinner. In this uncomplicated recipe, pork is complemented by peppery greens.
A simple honey, red wine vinegar, and mustard glaze coats the pork, giving it a subtle sweetness and intense juiciness. Unlike some other pork recipes, no marinating is necessary.
Pair with a glass of fruity, light red wine. For the recipe, read more
There is nothing as simply delicious as melted cheese and crispy bread. There are thousands of variations of cheese, bread types, and tasty extras, but recently I was dazzled by the grilled cheese on the cover of Gourmet magazine's February issue. Presented on a clean white plate with a pretty blue background, their uber grilled cheese features escarole, onion jam, and tallegio.
Unfortunately, I couldn't find onion jam nor tallegio, but luckily the recipe states the next best options — fig jam and fontina — both of which were at my local market. I cooked the sandwich over low heat to maximize the melt in the melted cheese. The final result was a divine treat with the sweet jam perfectly complementing the pungent cheese and bitter greens. For the plating, I used a simple white plate like Gourmet, but thought a pink placemat was more me. To see how I made my version of this super scrumptious sandwich, read more
When I was little I thought salad came in two forms: iceberg and spinach. In those day I wasn't particularly a fan of either. Times have changed and I am all about greens — even cooked ones. My new fave is escarole, which is a type of endive and considered the least bitter of that leafy veggie family.
One cup of chopped raw escarole has only 7 calories and contains one gram of fiber. It is a good source of vitamin A and vitamin C. Escarole is also high in Vitamin K and other anti-inflammatory minerals. Escarole is a great addition to soups and pasta dishes, but I like it simply sautéed with garlic and olive oil.
Fit's Tips: Escarole is in season now and should be available at farmers' markets through out the fall. Make sure to wash your greens thoroughly since dirt and sand can get trapped between its leaves. To prepare the leaves for cooking simply tear them into bite size pieces, no need to use a knife.
To see how I cook escarole just read more