Pretty soon it's going to be all root vegetables and winter squash at the farmer's market. There are still greens, however, even if they are of the sturdy and bitter variety. One of my favorites is escarole. Escarole is a bitter green, technically a kind of endive, and in the chicory family.
I've eaten escarole many times, but always passively, if served to me at a restaurant, for example. My favorite local farmer Bill Maxwell started growing escarole last year and I discovered that it's great in soups. He had escarole on Saturday, for the first time this fall, and I pounced.
I wanted to do something simple with this specimen, as it is so lovely. So I finely minced a third of a garlic clove, cooked it in a little neutral oil, added a few drops of fish sauce (we're all out of anchovies), some salt, and then the escarole, which I chopped into large pieces. Add a small glug of stock, stir, stir, taste, a little more salt, and that's it. Perfect with some bread or rice as a light dinner, or as a side dish. I ate this as the main course, and then had some cheese afterward.
So that's it, that's the dish. Please, you be the sommelier. What would you drink with this quickly braised escarole? Share your pairing ideas in the comments and I'll tell you what I drank and how it worked out soon after.
Thursday, October 21, 2010