How to Cook Escarole

If you have never had escarole, you are really missing out!  Escarole is a leafy green used predominately in Italian cooking.  It sort of looks like a head of lettuce, and has a noteworthy bitter flavor.

I was at a business dinner once at an Italian restaurant, and ordered a sautéed escarole as a side dish.  Most of the people at my table hadn’t had it before, but were hooked!

Now, let’s take a closer look at escarole, and how to make it.

How to Cook Escarole

Escarole is a classic Italian leafy green, and is most often sautéed no matter how you end up serving it.

Sometimes, it may be braised instead of sautéed in the Italian classic escarole and bean soup, but it is often sautéed first then added to the bean soup.

The other way to prepare escarole is to well, not cook it and use it as a salad green.

Let’s take a closer look at the different ways to prepare escarole.

How to Sauté Escarole

Sautéed escarole is a dish that stands all on its own.

First, cut and wash your escarole very well.  You can cut escarole just like you would cut a head of lettuce.

Heat olive oil in a pan, and add some chopped garlic.  You can also add red paper flakes for a little kick.

Add escarole to pan, and sauté a few minutes until it is wilted.

Here are some great and unique sautéed escarole recipes.


Sauteed Escarole Recipe: Italian Style, a classic Italian preparation.

Scarola aglio e olio (Sauteed Escarole), a recipe with olives and anchovies.

Sautéed escarole with garlic and parmesan cheese, a bit of a twist on the classic preparation.

Mom’s Sauteed Escarole, olives and capers add a great flavor.

Escarole and Bean Soup

Another classic escarole dish is Escarole and bean soup.  There are many takes on this one, with some being traditional soups, and others not being very soup like at all and mostly dry.

The key to any escarole and bean preparation is still sautéing the escarole first in a good quality olive oil, usually with garlic.  Some choose to skip the sautéing step and braise the escarole directly in the soup.

Escarole & Bean Soup, one of the most perfect preparations.

Pasta with Escarole & Beans Recipe, my favorite way to have escarole and beans!

ESCAROLE & BEANS (ZUPPA DI SCAROLA E FAGIOLI), a great example of a classic.

4-Ingredient Escarole and Beans, this makes such an easy meal!

How to Make Escarole Salad

Escarole is often served in a salad as well.  If you like bitter greens, be sure to give raw escarole a try.

FRANKIES SPUNTINO’S ESCAROLE SALAD, a simple salad with a walnut dressing.

Escarole Salad, lots of lemon in this dressing is the key.

Escarole Salad, featuring red onion.

Peach and Escarole Salad, quite unique!

Is Escarole Good for You?

Escarole is a leafy green, so it is rich in things like vitamin C, calcium, fiber, and iron, all things our body needs to run smoothly.

The fiber in escarole is insoluble fiber, which helps the digestive track.

It also has 30% of your daily value of folic acid, which is important for women of child bearing age.


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