Escarole is so underrated. If you've never had it, it's a mildly bitter leafy green that comes in a head, like lettuce. It's related to endive, but is much larger. It looks like a cross between frisée and green leaf lettuce.
I love that it is not over-cooked in this easy soup. Toss it in just before serving so it wilts but doesn't loose all its color and bite.
Another great way to enjoy escarole is with raisins, pine nuts, breadcrumbs, olives, anchovies, and Romano cheese in my esca-rolls. If you're feeling lazy, take the esca-rolls ingredients and just layer them all in a big lasagna pan instead of rolling them up. It's much easier to make and eat that way.
Arborio Rice Chicken Soup with Escarole
Arborio rice is one of many varieties of short-grain rice from Italy. It can tolerate long cooking and absorb a great deal of liquid without becoming mushy. It is easily identified by a little white dot inside the grain. Arobrio rice also contains a lot of start chich can help add thickness ot the soups in which it is cooked.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced onion
1 teaspoon salt
6 cups chicken stock
1/3 cup Arborio rice
2 cups chopped escarole
Juice of 1 lemon
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1. In a large soup to heat the butter over medium heat. When hot but not brown, add the carrots, celery and onion and stir to coat with the fat. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and sweat the vegetables until they start to soften, about 8 minutes. (Seating cooks the vegetables without browning them.)
2. Add the salt and stock and bring to a boil. Stir in the rice. Allow the stock to return to a boil, stirring frequently. Cover the pot and cook until the rice is al dente, 10 to 15 minutes.
3. Just before serving, stir in escarole and lemon juice. Adjust the seasonings. Transfer the soup to warm blows, sprinkle with the Parmesan and serve.
Disclaimer: This recipe is from The Institute of Culinary Education. I received it when I enrolled in a recreational course there. No copyright information was listed on this recipe or any other page that I received from the Institute. I assume the Institute owns the recipe and that they do not mind republication, given lack of copyright.