If you asked me when I was young how to spell ‘escarole’ I would spell it the way we say it, “shcarole.” I didn’t know that it started with an ‘E’ until I started making it and had the produce man at the Stop & Shop on a mad hunt for “shcarole,” only to find I was looking for something that didn’t exist. Escarole, however, definitely does exist and it can be found right next the heaping mound of Romaine lettuce. Whenever I make or eat this dish I think of my Uncle Jim. He’s the one who helped me perfect the recipe. He loved how I made it so much that one Christmas he bought me a serving platter especially for my "shcarole" and beans (see picture below). Now that he has passed, this recipe takes on even more meaning. It reminds me of the times we had laughing, talking about food and life in general. This one’s for you Big Jim! I'm sure you can smell the garlic from Heaven! —Jennifer
What you’ll need:
2 32 oz boxes of chicken broth (you can use reduced sodium if you like)
4 cloves of garlic
1 package of hot Italian sausage (some people use sweet or both)
4 15 oz can cannellini beans
2 large bushels of escarole
1 tablespoon of EVOO
How to prepare:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cut off the bottom of the escarole and place the leaves in boiling water (this will remove the dirt). I like to add 2 cloves of chopped garlic to the boiling water; this gives the escarole more of a garlic taste in the soup.
Grill the sausage and cut into chunks.
Strain the escarole after 8-10 minutes in the boiling water.
Let simmer on low for two hours. Stir occasionally.
Thirty minutes before serving, drain and add the 4 cans of beans. I love cannellini beans, so I use a lot of them, but you can use less. Don’t put the beans in too early or they will become mush.
Serve piping hot with crusty bread and a little parmigano cheese on top! Delish!!!