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Spicy Braised Escarole

December 23, 2009

Now that I’ve found out the farmer’s market carries escarole, I’ve been using it in dishes like this minestrone and this

braised escarole

salad.  It looks like a head of Bibb or Boston lettuce, but it’s a sturdier green and has a little bitterness to it.  I spotted this recipe for braised escarole a few weeks ago on Food & Wine and saved it thinking it would be a good side dish with this veggie loaf with checca sauce.  I modified it slightly by taking out the meat, but it still tasted nice and rich.  Serves 6 as a side dish.

Ingredients:

3 T olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 t red pepper flakes

2 large heads escarole, about 2-2 1/2 lbs, rinsed well and roughly chopped

1 14 oz can diced tomatoes

1 T fresh minced oregano

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 c panko or dried breadcrumbs

2 T grated Parmesan

Directions:

Heat 2 T olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat.  Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic is golden, being careful not to burn the garlic.  Add escarole in 3 batches, cooking 2 minutes each time until wilted, then adding the next batch.  Add the tomatoes and their juice, oregano, and season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil.  Cook over low heat until the escarole is tender, about 15 minutes.

Five minutes before escarole is done, heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat.  Add panko or breadcrumbs, and cook, stirring, until they are crispy and golden brown, about 1 minute.  Remove pan from heat and stir in Parmesan.  Using a slotted spoon, place esarole and tomatoes in a dish and sprinkle with breadcrumb mixture.  Serve immediatley.

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