Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sauteed Escarole with Pine Nuts and Raisins

Escarole is a slightly bitter green (though not as much so as its cousin, endive), but a quick saute and a few extra ingredients are all you need to transform it into a delicious side dish. 

  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 pound coarsely chopped escarole
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 6 lemon wedges
1 Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add the raisins, pine nuts, crushed red pepper, and garlic; saute for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  The pine nuts should be golden brown.

2. Add the vegetable broth and escarole.  Cook for a final 3 to 4 minutes, until the escarole wilts.  The pan will be very full until the greens wilt down, so be careful when stirring or tossing with tongs.  Stir in the salt at the end, and serve with the lemon wedges.

Try pairing this dish with a hearty rice or multi-grain pilaf and additional vegetable sides for a play on a "Blue Plate Special."

Nutrition Info:
6 servings (about 3/4 cup escarole, 1 lemon wedge), Calories 98 

Tasting Notes:
Even if you're an escarole skeptic, I guarantee you'll enjoy this recipe.  Warm, tender, wilted greens with plump sweetness from the raisins and subtle heat from the crushed red pepper in every bite.  The addition of pine nuts makes this elegant enough to serve to company, although I recommend more than 2 tablespoons.  Really nice with a spritz of lemon on top.


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