Quick-Sautéed Escarole with Pine Nuts

Escarole is such a versatile green!  The crisp, white stems and the brightly colored, flavorful green leaves can be eaten raw, used in soups or stews, or just wilted in a little bit of extra virgin olive oil and served as a side dish.  A type of endive, escarole is an excellent source of dietary fiber, iron, potassium, calcium, and Vitamins A and K.

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This is a great side dish that pairs easily with robust main ingredients.  In this post, we paired the quick-sautéed escarole with a medley of mushrooms roasted in extra virgin olive oil, garlic, and fresh thyme, and a pan-seared duck breast with blackberry gastrique. 

Preparation Time:  15 minutes

Cooking Time:  6-8 minutes

Serves:  4

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 small heads or 1 large head of escarole
  • 2-3 garlic cloves sliced
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste

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Preparation:

  • Remove any older, tough outer, or discolored leaves from the head of escarole.
  • Wash very well, especially in between the lower leaves, as it may be sandy, drain, cut off and discard the bottom, 1 to 1 inches above the root stem, slice the escarole in 2 inch lengths, wash and spin dry; set aside.
  • Peel and slice the garlic; set aside.
  • Toast the pine nuts if not previously toasted:
    • Place a small frying pan on a burner set to medium-high, wait a minute for the pan to warm up, add the pine nuts, stir occasionally but watch continuously as they go from toasted to burnt in seconds, once they reach a light golden color remove the pan from the heat and pour the nuts into a cool bowl; set aside.

Note:  even though the pan is off the burner it is still hot and will continue to toast the pine nuts if left in the pan.

Cooking:

  • Place a large frying pan on a burner set to medium-high, wait a minute or two for the pan to warm up, add the evoo, wait another minute, add the garlic, stir to coat the garlic in the oil, cook for 1 minute, add the escarole pieces, a pinch or two of salt, and a pinch or two of black pepper (a couple turns of a black pepper mill), stir continuously, cook for 3-5 minutes, add the toasted pine nuts, stir to incorporate.
  • Taste for seasoning, add salt or black pepper if desired.
  • Your quick-sautéed escarole with toasted pine nuts side dish is done and ready to plate!

Enjoy!

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