Sauteed Escarole
Sauteed Escarole

Don’t be intimidated by this slightly bitter leafy green! Cooking escarole is as quick and easy as a five-minute fry and makes a healthy side dish for dinner.

Have you ever had escarole?

What is escarole?

It’s easily confused with lettuce, but it’s actually a slightly bitter green in the chicory family with endive, frisee, and radicchio.

The leaves are a bit thick like kale, have ragged edges, and are light green on the outside, often with a pale yellow center on the inside.

You can use escarole raw in salads, use it stewed in soups (especially with white beans and sausage), or grill it.

My favorite way to enjoy escarole was taught to me by my chef friend, Kathi Riley, who used to work at Chez Panisse and Zuni Cafe. It’s a simple sautéing of the vegetables in olive oil with garlic.

How to cook escarole

The trick is to sear the greens while they’re still a little wet. Escarole usually needs to be rinsed well with water to remove any remaining dirt that may lurk in its folds and curls. So while the leaves are still wet, add them to the hot pan with oil.

Hot oil and water aren’t usually happy friends (splash alert!), but in this case you’re adding all the leaves at once, allowing splashes to take place under the leaves and protecting you from hissing oil projectiles.

why the water Some parts of the escarole leaves are delicate and can dry out in a hot pan. The water provides an extra buffer to keep the leaves from drying out while giving the escarole ample time to cook and wilt.

How to serve escarole

I usually eat the sautéed escarole plain as a very easy vegetarian meal. It also works as a side dish for dinner. Or stir in some cooked kidney beans and Italian sausage and you have a complete meal.


Check out this sautéed escarole recipe

How to buy and store escarole

Look for escarole in the produce section. It’s usually near the fresh lettuce. Farmers’ markets, which sell seasonal produce, typically stock them during the cooler months. Choose escarole, which is light green in color and has crisp, curly leaves.

If you’re not going to use the escarole right away, wrap it in a paper towel and store it in a plastic bag in the crisper of the refrigerator for four to five days. Before using the vegetables raw in a salad or cooking them, rinse them thoroughly as dirt can get trapped between the leaves.

More ways to enjoy cooked greens

  • Eggs in sautéed chard and mushrooms
  • Dinosaur cabbage with baby potatoes
  • Kale with sausage and white beans
  • Sautéed vegetables with pine nuts and raisins
  • Southern style collards

From the editors of Simply Recipes

Sauteed escarole

preparation time
5 minutes

cooking time
5 minutes

total time
10 mins

4 servings


  • 2 tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 clove garliccut

  • 1 small pinch red pepper flakesOptional

  • 1 head escarolerinsed well (and still a little wet), leaves cored, torn or cut into 3- to 4-inch pieces

  • 1 generous pinch sea-salt or kosher salt


  1. Sauté garlic:

    Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the sliced ​​garlic and red pepper flakes (if using).

  2. Add escarole leaves, turn with tongs:

    Once the garlic begins to boil and becomes fragrant, add the escarole leaves to the pan. The leaves should still be slightly damp from rinsing. They’ll sizzle when they hit the pan, but adding them all at once shouldn’t splatter the oil.

    Use tongs to turn the escarole in the pan while it cooks. Sprinkle with some salt.

  3. Wilt the escarole:

    When the escarole begins to wilt and is barely cooked, remove from the heat.

    Remove from the pan immediately to serve.

nutritional information (per serving)
83 calories
7g Fat
4g carbohydrates
1g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!