RECIPE: Get Your Green On With Escarole!

Photo credit Nancy S. Mure

Photo credit Nancy S. Mure

Escarole is the vegetable many Italians use to get their green on! I make this escarole dish three ways and every version is more delicious than the next. With added beans, this signature dish is popularly known in Italy as escarole and beans, pronounced fagioli and scarola. No better marriage of beans and greens can compare to this easily prepared warming and nourishing dish. 

Escarole can be found at your local market. To get the maximum health benefits of any green, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises increasing your intake of dark leafy vegetables, such as escarole, regularly to boost health and manage weight. 

Nutritionally speaking, a serving of escarole is super high in dietary fiber, full of protein, abundant in Vitamins A & C and loaded with essential minerals and antioxidant compounds. Throw in beans, and potassium and magnesium levels go through the roof. The fiber alone, kicks this dish into high gear at 19 grams per cup. When eaten frequently, these nutrients help boost health and weight loss substantially decreasing the possibility of disease. 

Notably, escarole is an excellent source of non-heme iron which is proven safer to consume than heme iron from animal products, even though it's slightly more difficult for the body to absorb. To repeat, escarole is super easy to prepare and transitions beautifully from a green gorgeous side dish, to a scrumptious meal, or glorious soup. I grow my own escarole during the summer, but it's easily available throughout the year. Always buy organic when you can. For all three recipes, you will need:

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of escarole, well cleaned.
  • 2 tablespoon cold pressed imported Olive oil or organic coconut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic sliced
  • 1 tablespoon stuffed green pimento olives (optional)
  • 1 tsp capers (optional)
  • 1 carton Organic Cannellini Beans (for escarole and beans)
  • 1/4 cup pure water
  • 2 cups Bone Broth (for soup)
  • Himalayan Pink Salt for seasoning.

Methods:

Simply sauteed as a vegetable side dish: In a large frying pan on low heat, gently heat the garlic until fragrant. Place washed escarole leaves in the pan, add water and cover. Season with pink salt, then allow to steam on low-medium heat for 20-25 minutes until tender. During the last five minutes of cooking add pimento and capers, heat through, and serve.

With Beans: For this dish you are going to need the cannellini beans. You can get them in a convenient carton at whole foods or you can buy them fresh and soak them yourself. In a large frying pan on low heat, gently heat the garlic until fragrant.

Place washed escarole leaves in the pan, add water and cover. Season with pink salt, then allow to steam on low-medium heat for 20-25 minutes until tender. During the last five minutes add one carton of organic cannellini beans with juice until heated, then serve. 

For Soup: Follow the directions for escarole and beans above. During the last five minutes of cooking add 2 cups of bone broth with the beans. Cook until heated on a low simmer (another 10 minutes) then serve.