3 ratings

Utica Greens

A regional Italian-American gem that transforms escarole
Utica greens
Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune

Escarole is a cousin to Belgian endive, which looks something like lettuce and tastes something like radish. In this recipe the escarole is cut down, blanched tender and tossed with prosciutto, peppers and Parmesan. Delightful. Delicious. And well worth a detour. This recipe was inspired by Francesca's Cucina in Syracuse, N.Y., with a little help from feelingfoodish.com.

This recipe is by Leah Eskin and was originally published in the Chicago Tribune.


  • 2 large heads escarole
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 pickled hot cherry peppers (no need to seed), or other pickled peppers, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped
  • 1/3 Cup Parmesan
  • 1/2 Cup toasted breadcrumbs


Roughly chop escarole, discarding tough flat bottom.

Toss into the salad spinner; soak and drain twice (escarole can be gritty).

Heap escarole into a big pot.

Set aside ¼ cup chicken broth. Pour the rest of the broth over escarole. Add enough water (about 2 quarts) to barely cover the greens. Bring to a boil; lower heat a little, cover and cook until dark green and tender, about 8 minutes.

Drain. Cool under cold running water.

In a wide skillet, heat butter and oil over medium.

Toss in onions and cook until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.

Add peppers and cook until soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes.

Scrape in garlic; cook another 30 seconds.

Add greens and reserved ¼ cup broth.

Increase heat; cook, stirring, until greens are hot and sauce thickens a bit, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Stir in prosciutto.

Heap greens into a shallow heatproof casserole.

Sprinkle on cheese, spread breadcrumbs over cheese.

Slide under the broiler just until crisp, about 1 minute.