Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Sauteed Escarole with Currants and Capers

Blame it on Rachel Ray. Usually when she cooks I'm about as familiar as I'd like to be with her ingredients. With the exception of escarole. The first couple times that she cooked with it I was curious. As she continued to cook with it I was intrigued. Finally I came across a recipe in one of my many many books, or it could have been a magazine clipping, or I could have seen it on TV and I thought, "I have to make that and find out what's so great about escarole!" Unfortunately planning ahead didn't happen and when I got to the store I had no idea how much to buy. So I threw one bunch into my cart and figured that if the recipe I wanted to make needed a different amount I'd adjust it.

But then I couldn't remember what recipe I wanted to try. Or where I found it. So here was this escarole sitting in my fridge and I was at a loss. So I tried to find a good recipe to try. There are tons. Now I was really at a loss. Apparently escarole can be eaten raw in salads, or simply sauteed as a side, it's pretty common in Italian soups too, and commonly it's paired with white beans. Being that neither the Brain nor I had tasted it before, I thought this simple, quick, easy to make Sauteed Escarole with Currants and Capers was probably a good idea.

It was delicious! Apparently escarole is closely related to endive and is part of the chicory family. It is high in Folate and Vitamin A too. The currants and capers in this recipe really set of the lovely mild bitterness of the escarole. I think it's a more flavorful green than spinach and yet it doesn't have the long cooking time of kale. We'll definitely be eating more escarole in our future.

Sauteed Escarole with Currants and Capers
adapted from Gourmet magazine

1 tablespoon pine nuts
1 head escarole, washed and cut into 1 inch pieces
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp dried currants
1 Tbsp drained capers

In a 12 inch nonstick skillet saute garlic in oil over moderately high heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add escarole in 3 batches, tossing each batch with tongs until wilted before adding next. Stir in currants, capers, and salt and pepper to taste and cook, covered over moderately low heat until escarole is tender, about 3 minutes. Remove lid and cook over moderately high heat until most of the liquid is evaporated, about 2 minutes more. Stir in nuts.


glamah16 said...

Everytinme I buy escarole It goes bad because I cant figure what to do with it. Thanks for this recipe!

Lina said...

what exactly is escarole anyways? Ive never heard of it!

Anonymous said...

I would love to buy escarole, if only because it is such a lovely word to say. However, it is green and I would hear comments like, "I don't care for that" or "Well, you don't have to make that again."

Creative eaters they are not.

Amanda said...

I heart escarole, and cook it often. It's a huge deal around these parts--sauteed (to soft) with onions and garlic and prosciutto (or capiccola) and sometimes even cherry peppers, topped with parmesan and often breadcrumbs and broiled just to brown the top. Yummmmmm!

I will admit that I've never tried them with dried fruit, however. The thought intrigues me.

Kitt said...

Escarole and chickpea soup is one of my faves.

lina, escarole is a kind of endive. It looks a lot like a dark green lettuce, but it holds up well in soups and sautees.