Pasta marinara with herb and caper sauce
Sweet springtime escarole
Most Italians enjoy the bitter taste inherent in escarole. And because it has its own confident and distinctive flavor, it pairs nicely with other flavours. The classic winter soup, Escarole and Beans, comes to mind. This recipe takes escarole in another direction. The sweetness of the shallots and grape tomatoes blends perfectly with the escarole, delivering a pleasant taste to all palates. Makes 4 x 1-cup serves
1 large head of escarole (450g/1lb)
1/2 cup water
1 tsp sea or kosher salt
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
120g (4oz) shallots, thinly sliced horizontally
240g (8oz) grape tomatoes, halved vertically
30g (1oz) parmesan cheese shavings (optional)
Cut off approximately 2.5cm (1in) from the base of the escarole head. Separate the leaves and wash each leaf to remove all signs of dirt and grit. Do this con cura, which means very carefully. Coarsely chop.
Pour the water into a heavy-based casserole (Dutch oven), add the salt and heat. Toss in the escarole and stir. Cover and cook over medium heat for 10–12 minutes or until the escarole is tender. Stir 3–4 times.
In the meantime, heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the shallots and sauté for 1 minute. Add in the tomatoes and sauté for another 2 minutes.
Add the escarole, including any juice, mix well and cook over medium-low heat for 2 minutes. Serve immediately, with optional cheese shavings offered tableside.
Per serve (without the cheese shavings)
Energy: 1188kJ/ 89cals; Protein 3g; Fat 4g (includes less than 1g saturated fat and 10mg cholesterol); Available carbohydrate 10g; Fibre 3g
What’s escarole? With thanks to Wikipedia: ‘Escarole, or broad-leaved endive (Chicorum endiva) has broad, pale green leaves and is less bitter than the other varieties. Varieties or names include broad-leaved endive, Bavarian endive, Batavian endive, grumolo, scarola, and scarole. It is eaten like other greens, sautéed, chopped into soups and stews, or as part of a green salad.’
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