Chef Tom – Escarole with Italian Sausage and Mongolian Heavy Metal

Escarole is a lovely green from the endive family, slightly bitter with hearty leaves that can stand up to cooking. Although it’s available year round, it can be hard to find in regular grocery stores. Peak season is the spring and summer months. It’s especially popular with Italians, who love their bitter vegetables (think rapinni, or radicchio) because they so deliciously offset rich and fatty meats.

Escarole with Italian Sausage and White Beans

Whenever I see escarole in the market I always think of this soup.

Chef trick (and this is an excellent flavor trick for most soups and long-cooking sauces) is to put a chunk of parmesan rind in with the beans and stock, then remove before serving.

Escarole

Escarole with Italian Sausage and White Beans

Serves 6 as main-course

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons olive oil

12 Italian sausages (about 3 pounds), casings removed

1 cup sliced onion

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

1 large head escarole, chopped (about 10 cups)

3/4 cup dry white wine

4 cans Cannellini or Great Northern beans, rinsed, drained

2 cups chicken bone broth (or stock)

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

PREPARATION

Directions:
Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat.

Working in batches, sauté sausage until cooked through, breaking up with back of spoon, about 6 minutes per batch. Using slotted spoon, transfer sausage to bowl, leaving drippings in pot.

Reduce heat to medium-low; add sliced onion to pot, cover and sauté, stirring from time to time, until browned and sweet, about 20 minutes. Mix in garlic and crushed red pepper.

Add roughly chopped escarole and sauté until wilted, about 2 minutes. Add wine and cook 2 minutes. Add beans, parm rind, stock and sausage and simmer 10 minutes to blend flavors. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer to large bowl. Top with grated Parmesan, if desired. Serve with buttery garlic toast.

On That Note

Mongolian Heavy Metal. Who knew. These guys have only TWO videos out and already are racking up a major fan base. Love this.

The HU – Wolf Totem

The HU – Yuve Yuve Yu

I knew the first one sounded familiar.

=CTH=

Chef Tom is currently Resident Chef for a small tech firm in San Francisco. He also teaches cooking classes, caters small parties and leads overseas culinary tours. His specialty for the last twelve years has been cooking for people with food allergies and sensitivities. His motto is “Food should give you pleasure, not pressure.”

Check him out at www.hippkitchen.com

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