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Sautéed escarole with garlic and parmesan cheese

Sautéed escarole with garlic and parmesan cheese.

In any selection of offerings on the holiday menu, a cook should always sneak in a couple of no-stress side dishes. Sautéed escarole with garlic and parmesan cheese is easy on the cook, yet absolutely worthy of a place at the table. One of the antioxidant-rich dark leafy greens, escarole plays a starring role in Italian vegetable soups and stews, but here it's the star of its own show. Cooking in olive oil softens the leaves and mellows the bitterness that's common to many dark greens. Add garlic and real Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and a few red pepper flakes for fun, and you have a simple, yet stunning, side dish. Make this at the very last minute, before you're ready to serve.

Escarole with garlic and parmesan cheese, an easy holiday side dish.

Sautéed escarole with garlic and parmesan cheese {vegetarian, gluten-free}

From the pantry, you'll need: extra virgin olive oil, garlic, mild red pepper flakes, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Serves 4-6; can be multiplied.


8 cups roughly chopped escarole (2 small heads)
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, slivered
1/4 to 1/2 tsp mild red pepper flakes, to taste
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, or more to taste


Wash the escarole in a bowl of cold water, and spin dry in a salad spinner, leaving a little bit of water on the greens.

In a very large frying pan, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Sauté the garlic for 30 seconds, to infuse the oil.

Add the escarole, in batches if necessary, stirring gently until the hot oil begins to wilt the greens. When all of the escarole is in the pan, toss in the red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.

Cover the pot, reduce heat to low, and cook for 5 minutes, until the greens are wilted and soft.

Transfer the escarole to a serving dish, and top immediately with grated cheese.

Serve hot.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More dark leafy greens:
Boerenkool (kale with mashed potatoes), from The Perfect Pantry
Saag aloo (potatoes with spiced spinach), from The Perfect Pantry
Chick peas and escarole, from Mele Cotte
Goat cheese and arugula pizza, from Shutterbean

Sautéed escarole with garlic and parmesan: the dark leafy greens mellow when cooked, and make the perfect side dish for a holiday meal. #vegetarian #glutenfree

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I had never tried cooking escarole until this season when I got a head from the farm. I put it in a soup, and it cooked forever - I thought it was going to melt away. But, I must admit it was tasty and somehow, the cheese is the perfect companion!

I've only cooked escarole a couple of times, but I do really like it. This sounds perfect for a healthy side dish!

Being married to an Italian-American, I am familiar with escarole and other Italian greens, such as rabe. This is a winner. I've not topped it with Parmesan Reggiano in the past, but will certainly add this succulent ingredient. How could I not have thought of it myself?!

TW, one of the joys of your CSA seems to be the great variety of vegetables you get during the season.

Kalyn, nothing unhealthy here. In fact, those dark leafy greens are so good, and it's nice to sneak some onto the holiday table. I toss any leftovers into the soup pot.

Connie, everything tastes better with cheese! (according to me...)

Lydia, I love escarole in soups, but haven't tried sauteeing it - great simple preparation!

Jeanette, every cook is entitled to a few great side dishes that are neither complicated nor time-consuming!

mmm sounds good. The trick is to find escarole and Parm Regg here. They appear occasionally. I'm on the hunt.....thanks for the recipe.

Marica, good luck! If you need a care package from the Italian markets here in Rhode Island, let me know.

Love love love this! We do this with kale/chard and spinach but why did I never think of doing it with escarole. The French definitely sautée escarole for a sidedish. Wonderful!

Yum - not sure why, but I think i can picture this as a lovely topping for garlic toast! kinda like a French bruschetta!

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