Friday, August 14, 2015

TIPS: Escarole

Escarole is a variety of endive whose leaves are broader, paler and less bitter than other members of the endive family. Like radicchio, kale and chard, escarole is a hearty green that thrives late into the growing season. The heart of an escarole head is less bitter because the leaves haven't gotten as much sunlight. High in folic acid, fiber, and vitamins A and K, escarole can be eaten raw or gently cooked.

Wrap unwashed escarole in paper towels and store in an unsealed plastic bag in the refrigerator for 4-7 days.

Fill a large bowl or dishpan with cold water.  Add greens and swirl around vigorously. All the dirt and sand will sink to the bottom.  Lift greens out of basin and into a salad spinner or colander.  Spin greens to dry or drain as best you can and dry on towels.

General Cooking Tips:
Escarole is most often used in soups and salads.  Escarole has crisp leaves with a rather sharp, bitter taste, and should be mixed with other greens when used in salads. The inner leaves are more tender and less bitter. Escarole also pairs well in salads with fruit (pears, apples, figs, etc), and strong flavored cheeses.  You can also saute escarole and combine it with pasta and roasted vegetables.

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