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.
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
- 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
- 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.
- 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!