Thursday, September 6, 2012

Carmela Soprano's Sautéed Escarole or Endive with Garlic

A few of the recipes in Artie's The Sopranos Family Cookbook worried me.

Some of the ingredients, like the veal, were out of my league.
Well, asking for the veal gave the butcher a laugh.
And he did make some good suggestions for substitutions.

Ah... one day I will find, and buy, some veal.
It's high on my bucket list.

Another thing that was a problem was Escarole.
Or 'Schcarole as Carmela calls it.
She cooks up quite a bit of it in her chapter Feeding my Family.

I live in the north end of Winnipeg.
Most of my neighbors are from Poland, the Philippines and India.
Yes, it does make for interesting church suppers.

I figured I was in the same spot as Goodfellas' Henry Hill.
Henry Hill ended up in the Federal witness protection program.
It saved his life.
But his new neighborhood deprived him of real Italian food.
So it goes.

Try as I might I couldn't find Escarole.
I looked in in the produce section and the frozen food section.
I even looked in the canned food section.
Finally I took a look in Wikipedia.
There it was!!

Escarole, or broad-leaved endive (var latifolia) 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, sauteed, chopped into soups and stews, or as part of a green salad.

Endive is rich in many vitamins and minerals, especially in folate and vitamins A and K, and is high in fiber.

Mystery solved.

                        'Schcarole with Garlic

Serves 4
Trim and discard bruised leaves of
1 head escarole (about 1 pound)
Cut off the stem end and separate the leaves.
Wash well in cool water.
Stack the leaves and cut in bite-sized pieces.

In a large pot place
3 Tablespoons olive oil
Cook over medium heat
3 garlic cloves thinly sliced
Pinch of crushed red pepper (optional)
salt to taste
Cook until the garlic is golden.
Add the escarole and stir well.
Cover the pot and simmer 15 minutes.
Serve hot or at room temperature.

Would I make 'Schcarole with Garlic again?
Now that I know what it is.
Fiber, folate and vitamins.  Perfect. 

One recipe down.  Eighty-one more to go.  

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