Escarole can be eaten raw or cooked in several different ways. Shriveled in Italian wedding soup is a widely known use for the verdant green.
Its often served with white beans, either as a soup or as a side dish with bacon or ham. Escarole could also be fried in oil or steamed for a quick side dish, or it can be consumed fresh as a salad green. But what does Escarole taste like?
Escarole has a gentle bitter taste and a slightly vegetal flavor. Its less harsh than that of other chicories, with differing degrees of sourness all through the head. The internal, milder leaves are more flavorful than the external, darkened green leaves. When fresh, the taste is livelier and more defined, and when boiled, it becomes more laidback.
In this article, well go over the flavor profile, mouthfeel, and utilization of this delightful leafy green in your food preparation, as well as some tips and tricks for enhancing the flavor of escarole.
- What is Escarole?
- What Does Escarole Taste Like?
- The Mouthfeel of Escarole
- Frequently Asked Questions
- What is comparable to escarole?
- Does escarole taste like romaine?
- What’s the difference between escarole and green leaf lettuce?
- How do you take the bitterness out of escarole?
- Which is healthier kale or escarole?
- What is the best substitute for escarole in Italian wedding soup?
- Why is escarole so expensive?
- Is escarole bitter when cooked?
- Can you eat escarole in a salad?
- Is escarole better raw or cooked?
What is Escarole?
Escarole has broad, fractionally wavy, soft green foliage with an unhinged, sour taste comparable to straggly endive but with a milder sting.
The external, spongy, shadowy leaves have a more pungent taste than the softer, interior leaves. Escaroles harsh taste can be mitigated by cooking. Escarole has a crunchy, zingy mouthfeel that retains its form even though boiled.
Escarole is obtainable all year, with a high season in the spring and early summer.
Escarole is a crucial element in the Italian American festive soup Stracciatella. Straccia corresponds to rags in Italian and is frequently eaten at Xmas, New Years, and on circumstance at Easter.
What Does Escarole Taste Like?
Escarole is a kind of chicory that is related to radicchio and endives. Its a harsh green with such a new taste and a subtle nibble that goes well with delightful, luscious, and spicy tastes.
Despite its appearance, escarole has a taste that is more powerful and precise than lettuce. Escarole is popular because it is far from dull.
The Mouthfeel of Escarole
Even though boiled, escarole retains its texture. The denser parts are thicker and tastier than usual lettuce, resembling spinach.
Escarole requires more mastication than romaine or green leaf lettuce. This is because it is fairly thick. It is, however, not hard or complicated to chew it is simply hearty.
So, what is it about Escarole that tends to make it so useful for soups?
What makes it superior to spinach or kale? Its a texture issue, to be sure. Kale is delicious in soup, but its so robust that it can overpower everything else youll need to cut it up into tiny pieces.
And spinach, especially baby spinach, loses a lot of texture as it cooks and can sometimes become slimy. Escarole strikes a happy medium between being tender enough just to cook rapidly while retaining some authenticity and having a flavor that neither overwhelms nor overshadows.
It also looks lovely, becoming semi-translucent as it simmers, offering your soup a range of green hues from dark to light.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Escarole be consumed fresh?
Yes! Escarole can be consumed raw like lettuce or baby spinach in an appetizer. Countless people like to combine escarole and salad greens for a wide variety of types and flavors. You can also gently rub it with a bit of sea salt and olive oil to make it taste like kale salad.
How Is Escarole this bitter?
Fresh escarole has an innate bitter taste that you may find difficult to overcome. Its important to note that the topmost leaves are by far the most bitter, so simply removing them may result in a relatively mild flavor.
If you prepare meal escarole for an extended period and notice that its bitterness is becoming more noticeable, you may be trying to cook it for too long. You also could probably attempt a very little salt and lemon zest-is a trick that works well with other harsh greenery and vegetables.
What Compares to Escarole?
Any harsh green will taste like escarole. Endive, radicchio, and dandelion greens are amongst the most noteworthy taste and pattern replicates.
Kale is similar to escarole, but it is significantly harder, more bitter, and has a green and sustainable flavor. Arugula can also be used in place of escarole in salads, but it has a stronger peppery taste.
What is the purpose of escarole?
Vitamin A is a potent antioxidant that supports positive bone density, reproductive capacity, immune function, and skin health.
A 2-cup serving of fresh escarole contains nearly 10% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A. Learning to cook the escarole focuses the nutrient content, allowing you to get much more for each helping.
You may be thinking that, with all of its accomplishment and awesomeness, escarole must be a little egotistical. With that mindset, what is escarole bringing to the table? All of the credit must surely go to its leader.
Nope. Escarole is fantastic. Selfless. Tactful. Gracious. All of these characteristics contribute to the formation of a long-lasting marriage. Or, at the very least, a nuptial soup.
What is comparable to escarole?
If you can’t find escarole, substitute curly endive or kale.
Does escarole taste like romaine?
And yes, as the family name “bitter greens” suggests, escarole is a tad bitter. There’s a sharpness that comes with escarole’s wide leaves, not quite as much as radicchio, but definitely more than a piece of romaine. At the grocery store, escarole can be easy to miss, since it’s a chicory that looks like lettuce.
What’s the difference between escarole and green leaf lettuce?
While escarole looks a lot like butterhead lettuce, you can tell them apart because escarole has wide, green leaves with slightly jagged, crumpled edges that cluster into a rosette — whereas the broad leaves of lettuce are wavy and smooth ( 1 , 2). Unlike lettuce, escarole offers a pleasant bitterness and versatility.
How do you take the bitterness out of escarole?
Removing bitterness from escarole with water
Immerse the escarole in hot but not boiling water for 2 minutes. Then remove it and put it in a bowl with plenty of cold water to rest for 5 minutes. The temperature change will help the plant lose some of its bitterness and become more enjoyable to the taste.
Which is healthier kale or escarole?
From the table above, it is easy to see that kale contributes slightly more calories and nutrients than escarole. However, both are great low-calorie additions that can provide a lot of nutritional benefits to your meal. So try them both.
What is the best substitute for escarole in Italian wedding soup?
Fresh spinach: If you’re not a fan of bitter greens, substitute bunched or baby spinach for the traditional escarole or kale in Italian wedding soup. Add the spinach later in the cooking process, as it takes only a few minutes to cook. Thawed and chopped frozen spinach works in a pinch, too.
Why is escarole so expensive?
It is similar to chicory – after all, it is part of the same family. Now, escarole is sometimes considered a specialty item. Growing it does not involve any major extra costs, but the specialty status makes it more expensive.
Is escarole bitter when cooked?
Its bitter flavor is one of its characteristics, but the bitterness is mild. The key to cooking escarole and reducing the bitter flavor is to ensure you do not overcook it. It is a popular ingredient in soup but can be eaten as is, sauteed with some garlic.
Can you eat escarole in a salad?
To benefit from the goodness of escarole, look for firmly packed heads with leaves that are crisp and green. Mix it with other greens for a salad, but escarole also does well as a cooking green.
Is escarole better raw or cooked?
Because the inner leaves are less bitter, they are better suited for raw dishes like salads, while the outer leaves work well sautéed or grilled.