In the Kitchen with Sigona’s Featuring: Fresh Escarole

Escarole and Cannellini Bean Soup with Diced Tomatoes and Peccorino

Crisp fall days are just about upon us, meaning it’s time to get cozy with bowls of hearty, steamy soups that will warm the bones. Cooking the escarole too long will make it mushy, so we like to wilt it down a bit before adding the liquid, to help cut down on the time the greens are boiling. Serves 4.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head escarole
  • 1/4 cup, plus more for drizzling, Sigona’s Fresh Press Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
  • 1/2 a white or yellow onion, diced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme, divided
  • 2 to 4 cloves garlic, minced (more or less to taste)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can (15.5 oz.) cannellini beans
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes
  • Peccorino, for serving
  • Tabasco, to taste

Directions: Cut out the core of the escarole and separate the leaves. Wash leaves well and spin dry (repeat if necessary, to rid escarole of sand); tear or chop leaves into bite-sized pieces, discarding any tough/core ends and. Set aside.

Add oil to a large soup pot and heat over medium. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper; cook, stirring, for about 4 to 5 minutes or until onions are translucent. Stir in the escarole and one sprig of thyme; cook, stirring, until escarole has wilted down by at least half, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds or until garlic is fragrant.

Stir in the broth, beans and tomatoes. Bring to a boil over high, then reduce to a simmer and allow it to cook for about 30 minutes, partially covered with a lid.

Remove the thyme stem from the soup. Spoon the soup into individual serving bowls, drizzle each bowl with a teaspoon of olive oil, sprinkle on cheese and top with a sprig of thyme, for garnish. Add a few shakes of Tabasco, to taste.

 

Raw Escarole Salad with Pears, Dates and Bacon with a French Walnut Vinaigrette

A perfect salad for fall, with the sturdy greens and crisp Bosc pear. The addition of sweet dates and savory bacon makes for a satisfying pairing of flavors. If you’d like to add some cheese, crumbled blue would be an excellent choice. Adapted from Earthbound Cook. Serves 4 to 6.

Walnut Vinaigrette:

  • 1/3 cup Sigona’s French Roasted Walnut Oil
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Escarole Salad:

  • 1 large head escarole
  • 6 to 8 pitted dates, chopped
  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup walnut halves & pieces (look for them in Sigona’s dried fruit & nut section)
  • 4 to 6 slices crisp-cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 1 ripe Bosc pear, halved, quartered, core removed; quarters sliced lengthwise into four slices

Directions: In a small bowl, whisk together the walnut oil and vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Cut out the core of the escarole and separate the leaves. Wash leaves well and spin dry (repeat if necessary, to rid escarole of sand); tear or chop leaves into bite-sized pieces, discarding any tougher/core ends and.

In a large bowl, add the escarole, dates and shallot. Drizzle with a couple tablespoons of the vinaigrette and toss well to incorporate.

Divide the tossed greens among 4 to 6 individual salad plates or leave it in a large serving bowl. Top each serving with walnuts, crumbled bacon and four slices of pear; season with black pepper. Serve immediately and remaining vinaigrette on the side.

 

Quinoa & Escarole Power Breakfast topped with Poached Eggs and Smoked Spanish Paprika

This complete dish is a sight to behold. The yolk running down the layered quinoa and sautéed escarole makes your taste buds dance in anticipation. Watch Carmelo prepare the dish on our YouTube channel. Serves 2.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa (tip: substitute chicken broth for the water to cook it in, giving the quinoa more flavor)
  • 5 Tbsp. distilled white vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Sigona’s Fresh Press Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Half of 1 yellow onion, diced
  • Smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1 head escarole, core removed, leaves washed well and spun dry, chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • Salt, to taste

Special equipment:

  • Ramekins

Directions: Cook quinoa according to package directions. Set aside, but keep warm.

Place a medium pot of water on the stove over medium-high so it comes to a low boil.

In a nonstick skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, season with salt and 3 to 4 dashes of the paprika. Cook for about 3 minutes. Add escarole to onions, season with salt and 4 to 5 more dashes paprika. Stir to combine. Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Remove lid and cook for 3 more minutes, stirring well. Take off heat, set aside.

Add 5 tablespoons distilled white vinegar (to help hold egg together) to the low-boiling water. Crack one egg at a time into ramekin. Slide one egg gently into boiling water. Repeat with second egg. Cook for 1 min, 30 seconds to 2 mins. The white parts should be cooked, but the yolk will remain runny. Remove eggs with a slotted spoon, being gentle, pat dry and put on a plate.

To plate the dish, put 1/4 cup quinoa in a ramekin, pack it down. Fill the remainder of the ramekin with the escarole mix. Put plate on top of ramekin and flip over. Remove the ramekin, leaving the quinoa and escarole in a nice mound on the plate. Place poached egg on top.

Sprinkle with salt and dust with paprika. Garnish the plate with more paprika if you want. Let the diner poke the egg to let yolk drizzle down through the dish.

 

 

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