Serves 4 to 6


Escarole is one of my favorite vegetables for its versatility. Braising the escarole softens its slight bitterness and makes it a perfect accompaniment to roasted pork or poultry. This recipe is easily doubled for a crowd; just make sure to use a large pot so it doesn’t get watery.


  • 2 medium heads escarole (about 1 pound)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
  • Kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon peperoncino


Remove the outer leaves of escarole if damaged or discolored. Cut off the bases, wash the leaves and drain, leaving a bit of water clinging to the leaves. Coarsely chop to make about 12 cups.

Heat the olive oil in a medium Dutch oven over medium high heat. When the olive oil is hot, add the garlic and cook until it sizzles and begins to turn golden, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the escarole and season with salt and the peperoncino. Cook and stir until the escarole begins to wilt, 3 to 4 minutes, adding a little water if the leaves begin to scorch. Cover and cook until the escarole is tender, 6 to 7 minutes more.

Remove and discard the garlic; serve immediately.