I picked up a GIANT head of escarole in this weeks CSA share from the Good Food Collective. Greens and beans has to be one of my favorite dishes (and my husband is a big fan too). See below to learn how I make this classic Italian recipe.
Escarole is a variety of endive whose leaves are broader, paler and less bitter than other members of the endive family. In taste — but not color — it is almost indistinguishable from radicchio.
Like radicchio, kale and chard, escarole is a hearty green that thrives late into the growing season. The heart of an escarole head is less bitter because the leaves haven’t gotten as much sunlight. (Some farmers even cultivate these pale leaves by covering the plants and depriving them of sunlight.)
High in folic acid, fiber, and vitamins A and K, escarole can be eaten raw or gently cooked. Try tossing a few escarole leaves into a mild salad, serving some quickly wilted with lemon juice, or stir chopped escarole into soup. A medium head of escarole usually yields about seven cups of torn leaves.
Greens and Beans
- 2-5 cloves of garlic (depending on your preference)
- one head of escarole
- olive oil (3 tbsp or more)
- crushed red pepper
- salt and pepper
- one can of cannellini beans
- Finely chop garlic
- In a separate pot begin boiling water for the pasta
- Add olive oil, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, and garlic to a large pan over medium/low heat
- Divide the escarole into 4-6 parts and chop into 1″ sections
- Add to the pan in 4-6 parts
- Stir green mix with the oil and spices
- After the first batch begins to soften and wilt add in the next part
- Once all greens have been added, stir in one can of beans (including the liquid from the can)
- Drop pasta into the boiling water
- Turn the heat down to simmer on the greens and beans mixture while the pasta boils
- Serve pasta, spoon mixture on top of pasta, sprinkle with romano
You may have noticed the spoon resting on top of my pasta while it was boiling. My mother-in-law taught me that if you rest a wooden spoon on top of a pot it will prevent the water from boiling over.