Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Escarole: the party dress of veggies

At the grocery store the other day, escarole caught my eye. Amidst the tough-skinned cukes, the crocodile-like texture of the hearty kale, and the rubbery solidity of cabbages, escarole looked like a party dress. It was white with green edges-- like piping! It had frills! I had no idea how to cook it, but I knew I wanted to eat it.

(Crazy blogger aside: Talented people would certainly make a gorgeous dress out of escarole. Have you seen what they can do with toilet paper?)

I braised it up. We ate the whole bunch in one sitting.

How to cook party dress escarole:

Heat oil, diced garlic, and chili flakes in a pan.
Rinse your pretty escarole well. Slice into strips. (Some will be frillier than others.) It's ok if some of the stems get in there.
Add your escarole strips to the hot pan. Let it cook down for a few minutes. Your escarole will start to wilt. It won't be as spring-green. Do not be sad! It will taste better this way.
Add water, salt, a teaspoon of sugar, and some thin slivers of lemon. Turn down the heat. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes.
Keep peeking. Stir. Don't let it burn! Add more water if you need. Sample it. Add more of whatever you want. (Sequins? No, they don't taste good. Maybe just more pepper.)

I'm smitten with escarole. It felt like comfort food, but I'm pretty sure it had some good nutrients, even after I cooked the hell out of it.

No comments: