How to Cook Italian Greens

If you don’t already know, green
vegetables are without a doubt the single best thing you can put in your body.
Green vegetables and water, that is. Yes, you’ve gotta have water too.
Yes, green veggies are quite
healthy. Italians love all sorts, other vegetables and fruits too. And they
prepare their vegetables in a multitude of ways.
Italians, and especially
Italian-Americans, love our green vegetables, and we really love greens, like;
Broccoli Rabe (Rapini) and Escarole, or Scarola. Any green vegetables that are
simply sautéed in garlic and olive oil are great favorites. Along with being
immensely beneficial to good health, looking good, and tasting great, these
sautéed greens are quick and easy to prepare.

Sautéed greens are the perfect accompaniment to any meat, fish, or
poultry entrée and are great on their own or with other ingredients in an antipasto
or as bruschetta on grilled or toasted Italian bread. You can prepare Broccoli
Rabe, Escarole, Swiss Chard, Green Beans, Broccoli, Spinach, or Beet Greens all
in this manner.



Escarole, in Italian the word is “scarola.”
In the Italian American dialect of my father’s generation the word is usually
pronounced,”Schka-role.” Few are the young people these days that have ever
even heard the word and I wonder how many have ever tasted this leafy green
that many of us love so. “Schka-role” is of singular importance in the
Italian-American cuisine. In the pantheon of Italian-American foods, escarole
is way up there, along with Broccoli Rabe and Eggplant (melanzane). Escarole
finds itself in soups, in recipes with beans and in stuffed versions, and
sometimes on pizza.
      In our family, my sister Barbara and I
are the ones who love sautéed escarole most. It’s simply sautéed with garlic,
good olive oil, salt & pepper and “Basta,” that’s it, it’s done and it’s
tasty as heck. This sautéed escarole is our favorite side-dish with roast
chicken, pork chops, steak, and grilled fish.
One of the best uses ever for “Scarola” is in the whimsical
Southern-Italian soup, Italian Wedding Soup with chicken broth, chicken, little
meatballs and escarole, “It’s just divine.”

And did you know? “Scarola,” is slang for “Money” in Italian, as in
“That car cost a lot of “Schka-Role!”


heads escarole washed and roughly chopped
cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
teaspoon crushed red pepper, ¼ cup
1. Blanch escarole in boiling salted
water for 2 minutes. Drain off water. Drain again and squeeze excess water from
2. Sauté garlic in oil until it just
begins to brown.

3. Add red pepper and escarole.

Sauté escarole over medium heat for about 6 minutes. Season with Salt and black
pepper and serve.
Excerpted from  SUNDAY SAUCE   by Daniel Bellino-Zwicke


SAUTEED ESCAROLE and Other Recipes in Daniel Bellino-Zwicke ‘s SUNDAY SAUCE

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