I got a big ass escarole in my CSA box last Friday, so I looked in my trusty copy of Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone to see how best to tackle it. Yes, I’ll admit that when I was a misguided youth I went through a vegetarian phase but now I’m reformed.
Her recipe for “Braised Escarole with Onion” seemed simple enough so I cooked some up, subbing in butter instead of olive oil.
Here’s what you need to wrangle up:
- 1 large head of escarole (~2 pounds in all)
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- salt and freshly milled pepper
- vinegar of your choice
The first thing you need to is separate the escarole leaves and wash well (there can be lots of mud and dirt at the base of the inner leaves). Drain and coarsely chop.
Heat the butter in a wide skillet over medium heat and sauté the onions until soft.
Throw in the garlic and stir around for ~ 30 seconds and then dump in the escarole (damp greens are good). Lightly salt the greens and onions and cook covered until the greens are wilted and tender (~12-15 minutes). Season with salt and pepper and add a splash of your favorite vinegar.
I love me some Trader Joe’s. I don’t always love the quality of their produce but it’s hard to pass up a 2 lb pack of pre-trimmed haricot verts. Tonight, I wanted to eat some buttered green beans but I didn’t want to boil water. Could I be any lazier? Don’t answer that.
Plus, Mark Bittman and Harold McGee advocate microwaving veggies over steaming because nuking veggies delivers better color, texture, and vitamin retention — provided you watch it carefully. So in the name of science (and not laziness), I nuked my green beans to test their hypothesis.
Here’s what I assembled:
- 1 lb of green beans, trimmed (I divided the TJ’s bag in half and vacuum sealed the other half for later consumption)
- 1/8-1/4 cup of water
- 2 tablespoons of Kerrygold unsalted butter
- Salt and Pepper
- lemon juice and/or vinegar (optional)
- handful of toasted slivered almonds (optional)
I put the greens beans and water in my Corningware and stuck it in the microwave. I nuked it for 2 minutes on high, stirred things around, and then another 2 minutes and stirred things around. After that, I zapped the beans in 1 minute intervals to get the beans to the proper doneness (total of ~8 minutes) and drained the excess liquid.
I threw in 2 tablespoons of butter and seasoned with salt and pepper. As a variation, you can add a squeeze of lemon or a splash of vinegar and/or some toasted slivered almonds.
Not bad considering the green beans weren’t pristine and I didn’t have to boil water or wash a pot. Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m exceptionally lazy.