I thought I was already a vegetable nerd but since I've started working on a farm I've been exposed to some new veggies I hadn't really used before. I'm sad to say one of these was escarole:
I've been missing out. Although it's in the endive family escarole looks more like a head of lettuce although I wouldn't really eat it like lettuce. It's a little tougher and has a mild bitterness (but definitely not too much) so it's delicious cooked.
Since it's featured heavily in Italian cuisine that's what we stuck with: first we made the classic escarole and beans (or more accurately: "scrole and beans"). This dish is basically cannellini beans, escarole and lots of garlic with some Parmesan for serving. We also put some sausage in ours although it certainly can be a main dish even without meat. Also: it really should be served on or near some good toast.
Next we used some escarole in Italian wedding soup. Our version had spicy meatballs, escarole, potatoes and onions in broth although there are lots of other variations of this soup. Again the escarole was fabulous.
If you can find some at your local farmer's market I highly recommend trying some. Cook it the way you would any other cooking green or throw it in a soup.
Anybody have any other favorite ways to use escarole?