Escarole looks like a head of lettuce, with curly, darker leaves on the outside and lighter on the inside. The outer leaves are slightly bitter, and are often sauteed or braised. Other common uses for escarole is raw in salads, or added to soups and stews as it maintains its body when heated.
Calories per serving: 250 per serving
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
2 sweet Italian sausage links , removed from casing
2 tblsp olive oil
1 onion , chopped
1 carrot , chopped
1 celery stalk , chopped
2 garlic cloves , minced
2 tblsp tomato paste
1 bay leaf
4 cups escarole leaves, roughly chopped
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
2/3 cup green lentils
1/3 cup pearled barley
pinch cayenne pepper
1. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a medium sized dutch oven or stock pot. Add the sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. When browned, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and add the onion, carrot, and celery. Cook until vegetables are softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook one minute longer.
2. Add the tomato paste and stir until combined with the vegetables. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper, and a pinch of cayenne. Add the chicken stock and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then add the lentils, barley, and cooked sausage. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 25-30 minutes, partially covered, until the lentils and barley are tender. Add the chopped escarole and stir in until wilted, cook 2 minutes longer, remove the bay leaf and serve.