Sautéed Escarole with Garlic

Washed escarole ready for the pan. Escarole should be washed 2-3 times before cooking as there is usually a good amount of dirt contained in the vegetable
Washed escarole ready for the pan. Escarole should be washed 2-3 times before cooking as there is usually a good amount of dirt contained in the vegetable

I’m often asked what my favorite meals or recipes are and folks are shocked or confused when I say something like Sautéed Escarole with Garlic or baked broccoli or that I treasure a ripe organic pear over a well marbled sirloin steak.  However, it’s true, I like my food simple and fresh (preferring fish over red meat, raw nuts over processed snacks and chips, and sautéed green vegetables over fried potatoes).

One of my favorite vegetable dish is sautéed escarole.  Escarole is a type of endive with very broad leaves, but without the bitter taste.  Escarole is incredibly hearty and stores well in your refrigerator crisper drawer.  Escarole is high in fiber, vitamin K and A, and folic acid.  Escarole is also very difficult to overcook making it a perfect dish for the beginning cook.

Recipe: Sautéed Escarole with Garlic
Recipe type: Vegetable
Serves: 3-4
  • One head of fresh escarole (make sure the leaves are crips, green, and have no brown or wilting parts)
  • Kosher salt and freshlyt ground black pepper to taste
  • 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of dry red pepper flakes (optional)
  1. The best method for preparing escarole includes a light boil and then sauté. Begin by cutting the bottom ½ inch of the escarole (removing the stem) so all of the individual leaves are exposed.
  2. Next wash the leaves in a large bowl with water. NOTE: You'll need to submerge and drain the leaves no less than 3X in order to remove all of the excess dirt and grit. After you've thoroughly cleaned your escarole you can move the greens to a 6 quart sauté pan with about a ¼ of inch of water. Place the lid on the pan and gently steam the leaves for about 5-10 minutes (the leaves will dramatically reduce in volume).
  3. After the leaves have wilted, remove the excess liquid and add salt and pepper to taste as well as 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil. Toss the ingredients well and add your thinly sliced garlic (you can the red pepper flakes at this point as well). Finally, sauté the mixture for 8-10 minutes and serve in a medium sized bowl.

You can find our escarole and bean soup recipe here!  I like roast chicken and a nice glass of Aglianico with sauteed escarole.


  1. While broccoli rabe has become the more popular of the Italian vegetables, escarole is my favorite. I make a similar dish also. Try adding some white beans and serving it over polenta. I also make escarole fritters and a frittata with the same ingredients.

  2. I’m with you, I like escarole much better than broccoli rabe! Escarole has a slightly sweet flavor profile, cooks easily, and is very versatile (made by itself or in a soup with beans, as you suggest!). Never made escarole fritters, do you have a recipe to share with everyone?

  3. One of my favorites Vincent…reminds me to buy some escarole today..enough to make soup too!! Thanks!!

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