Escarole

Escarole is a variety of endive whose leaves are broader, paler and less bitter than other members of the endive family. In taste — but not color — Like radicchio, kale and chard, escarole is a hearty green that thrives late into the growing season. The heart of an escarole head is less bitter because the leaves haven’t gotten as much sunlight. (Some farmers even cultivate these pale leaves by covering the plants and depriving them of sunlight.) High in folic acid, fiber, and vitamins A and K, escarole can be eaten raw or gently cooked… A medium head of escarole usually yields about seven cups of torn leaves. Juicy, tangy and still slightly crisp, wilted escarole with lemon and mint is simple and soothing.  Escarole’s salad possibilities are virtually endless: serve it with smoked fish and a lemon, mint dressing; with beets, walnuts, and goat cheese; or with golden raisins and Dijon mustard and yogurt dressing.  Parmesan and bread crumbs make a richly contrasting topping for these braised greens. Grilling season is coming to a close, but fire it up one last time for some charred escarole.  If you’re craving something warming, try escarole soup — with white beans, greens, and sweet potatoes.