Monday, June 28, 2010

CSA week 3: Escarole

I was starting from scratch with escarole: a large leafy head, and no idea how to prepare it.

Escarole looks like romaine, but it's a type of endive, broad-leafed and a little bitter. I knew I wanted to cook it, finding it too sharp as a raw salad.

My mom recalled a Rachel Ray recipe for escarole with lemon bread crumbs. I've never watched Ray's TV show or tried any of her recipes. But this recipe's combination of lemon and olive oil, with a touch of honey to "mellow" the greens, sounded intriguing.

I sliced the escarole into ribbons and wilted it in a large skillet, with olive oil, salt and freshly ground pepper. Next I simmered the greens for just a few minutes in chicken broth and a touch of honey. (I used much less broth than the recipe called for, noting several reviews that deemed the dish too soupy.)

The cooked greens are topped with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a mixture of butter-browned bread crumbs, lemon zest, and minced spring onions (also from my CSA share).

The flavors of honey and lemon blunted the bitterness of the greens and made for a great combination. I was a little disappointed that my big pan of escarole cooked down to a shallow soup bowl. Here's hoping for more escarole this week!

No comments: