Monday, November 16, 2009

What The Hell Am I Gonna Do With Escarole?

This recipe is an adaption from a Sauteed Escarole recipe that first appeared in Gourmet Magazine in the May, 2005 issue. I just came across it because I happened to have a head of escarole that I wanted to eat while it was still fresh. I also happened to NOT have a can of anchovies. I don't generally keep that in my kitchen. Not that I'm principally opposed to anchovies, I'm just not really into it. So, I made due with what I had.

Note that "garlic and hot peppers" is my middle name. So, feel free to modify to taste. I like to get a good burn on just about every meal. Yes. I put hot sauce in my cereal. Also, if you are using fish sauce, don't add salt. It really won't need it. You could substitute paprika instead of crushed red peppers if you want something that is flavorful but not spicy. You could substitute fish sauce with some wine or a dab of soy sauce, neither of which will be seamless, but my guess is that most Americans don't keep fish sauce in their cabinet.

Sauteed Escarole

4 heads of escarole
1/4 cup of light olive oil
6 cloves of garlic
about a teaspoon of crushed red peppers
2 tbsps of fish sauce
4 shallots


Rinse Escarole in water. Tear Escarole in fist-sized chunks and boil in a pot for about 5 minutes. Drain.

In the meantime, mince the garlic, or use a garlic press. Cut the shallots into thin slices. Heat oil in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add the garlic and shallots to skillet. Stir for about 2 minutes, coating the shallots and garlic with the oil. Add crushed red peppers. Stir the peppers into the oil until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the boiled and drained escarole to the skillet. Stir the escarole to coat it with oil. While the moisture from the escarole starts to cook off, stir in the fish sauce. Try to drizzle it throughout the skillet, rather than just dumping in one part of the skillet. Saute for about 5 minutes. Serve.


  1. I like to saute with bacon dripping and ground bacon. You know how much I love the little chopper. I often make a bacon paste that I add to soups and other recipes. I also use pressed garlic and something from the onion family sliced. Liquid smoke (I know you'll goff at this but the ingredients on the bottle aren't bad at all). Escarole is particularly good in a bean soup with these ingredients.

  2. Yeah, I imagine Escarole is good in just about anything. Never really tried much with it until now. Bacon drippings in escarole sounds fantastic.