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what you need to know

Root Source: Escarole

 

what you should know

 

Escarole is a pale, broad-leafed type of endive.

Delicious and crisp when eaten fresh, this bitter green is also excellent when braised, wilted, grilled or cooked in soups. (Always be sure to give the leaves a thorough washing.)

easy green The Bittman challenge: close your eyes and try to distinguish between escarole and its trendier, more expensive, red-tinted cousin, radicchio.

A+ Escarole is a great source of folic acid, vitamin K and fiber, and when it comes to vitamin A, escarole tops even spinach. One medium head of escarole yields about seven cups of torn leaves.

 

wintergreen Escarole is a winter green (along with chard, collards, mustards and kale) that thrives late in the growing season. The heart of a head of escarole is less bitter because it's been deprived of sunlight.

 

what you need

 

Everyone should own a copy of Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. (Be sure to check out her recipes for escarole torta and escarole and rice soup.)

 

A brightly colored shallow pan is perfect for quickly sautéing escarole and then bringing the dish right to the table to serve.

 

Tongs, our favorite kitchen tool, will do right by your escarole, whether hot or cold.

 

 

what you do

 

Juicy, tangy and still slightly crisp, wilted escarole with lemon is simple and soothing.

 

Escarole's salad possibilities are virtually endless: serve it with chicken and mint; with beets, walnuts, and goat cheese; or with golden raisins and Dijon mustard.

 

Parmesan and bread crumbs make a richly contrasting topping for braised greens.

 

Grilling season is coming to a close, but fire it up one last time for some charred escarole.

 

If you're craving something warming, try escarole soup -- with kale or with sausage.

 

Find more escarole recipes at Cookthink.com. And if you haven't yet signed up for a free account at Cookthink, do it now!

 

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