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Braised Escarole with Garlic and Lemon

10 June

Escarole has a slightly bitter taste and is a member of the endive family. It can be eaten raw, but benefits from cooking as this will take away some of the bitterness. It is especially good in a white bean soup. One medium heads equals about 9-10 cups of coarsely chopped escarole.

1 head escarole
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 bay leaves
½ lemon, cut into thin slices
2 cups water or chicken stock
pinch of sweetener
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Break off the leaves of the escarole and wash them individually, taking care to remove any soil at the base of the stems. Shake leaves dry, stack them up, and slice the escarole crosswise into ribbons about 1½ inches wide.
2. Place in a deep skillet over medium heat and add the olive and butter. Toss in the garlic, red pepper flakes, bay leaves, and lemon slices; cook and stir for a couple of minutes, tossing to combine. Nestle the escarole into the pan and sauté until it begins to wilt and shrink down, about 2 minutes.
3. Sprinkle the escarole with a pinch of sweetener and season with sea salt and pepper. Pour in the water or stock and cover the pan. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until the escarole is tender.
4. Remove escarole from the pot and place on a serving platter and serve warm.

Serves 4

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