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Sautéed Escarole with Raisins, Pine Nuts, and Capers

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Serves 4.

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 97

You can blanch the escarole up to one hour ahead. Wait until just before serving to add the lemon juice, though, as the acid in the juice will dull the escarole’s color if it sits too long.

  • 2 lb. escarole (about 2 heads), trimmed, rinsed, and cut into roughly 2-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 large cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 2 Tbs. pine nuts
  • 2 Tbs. raisins
  • 1 Tbs. capers, rinsed
  • Pinch of crushed redpepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the escarole and cook until the stem pieces start to soften, about 2 minutes (the water needn’t return to a boil). Drain, run under cold water to cool, and drain again.

In a 12-inch skillet, heat the olive oil and garlic over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic browns slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the garlic with tongs and discard. Add the pine nuts, raisins, capers, and pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until the pine nuts are golden and the raisins puff, about 1 minute. Add the escarole, increase the heat to medium high, and cook, tossing often, until heated through and tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Sprinkle with the lemon juice and season to taste with salt.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 140; Fat (g): fat g 10; Fat Calories (kcal): 90; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 1; Protein (g): protein g 3; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 6; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 11; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2.5; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 530; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 0; Fiber (g): fiber g 6;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Liked the flavor combination, but the end product seemed too heavy for greens. Although I drained/tossed them several times after blanching, I still felt like they were heavy with excess water, and the 2 T. olive oil in the recipe made them even heavier. Next time, I might skip the blanching and maybe just try wilting in the pan. I'd probably cut the oil in half next time as well.

I served this as a side dish with roasted pork. It was easy to do and everyone loved it. It was also a nice change from the "usual" winter vegetables.

I served this a a side dish with roasted pork. It was easy to do and everyone loved it. It was also a nice change from the "usual" winter vegetables.

Tasty and easy -- the greens are thinly sauced and very savory. I blanched the greens in the same skillet used for the saute. I also used orange juice instead of lemon. With a puree of white beans, and some rice, this has been a great lunch all week.

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