Simple Braised Escarole
A member of the endive family, escarole is often overlooked, yet incredibly versatile in the kitchen. It’s sturdy enough for soups and braises, but not too bitter to eat raw in a salad or use as a lettuce wrap. It’s even great with a little char from the grill. Here, we pair it with anchovies, garlic and Calabrian peppers for an easy, flavorful side dish.
Braised Escarole with Anchovies, Garlic & Calabrian Peppers
- 2 heads escarole, washed and outer leaves reserved (set the hearts aside for another use)
- 2/3 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 4 Calabrian peppers in oil, chopped (plus a few for garnish)
- 5 anchovy filets in oil, chopped
- Maldon sea salt
- 1/4 cup parsley and chives, chopped for garnish
Blanch the outer leaves of escarole in rapidly boiling, salted water for 30 seconds and then shock in ice water. Once chilled drain and pat dry.
Heat a large rondeau over medium heat. Add the olive oil. After 30 seconds, add the garlic and let it sweat for 2 to 3 minutes, then add the peppers and anchovy. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon allowing the anchovies to melt into the oil.
Turn the heat to high and add the escarole leaves. Let the escarole cook in the oil for a minute, and then stir with the back of a wooden spoon to mix in the garlic and pepper goodness. Keep cooking for another 10 minutes, until almost all of the liquid evaporates. Season with the Maldon salt and serve on a platter. Garnish with chopped parsley, chives and some Calabrian peppers for color.
Photograph by Madeleine Hill.
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