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Sweet-and-Savory Italian Sautéed Escarole

Sweet-and-savory Sautéed Escarole Recipe features Italian greens with olive oil, garlic, plumped raisins, and crunchy pine nuts ready in 25 minutes.

Sweet-and-Savory Italian Sautéed Escarole


  • Prep time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook time: 10 Minutes
  • Total time: 25 Minutes

Key Ingredients Needed

  • 2 1-pound bunches of escarole
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1.5 ounces raisins (small box of dark or golden ones)
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions/Step By Step Directions

Clean the escarole

Step 1: Trim off the root ends and any discolored leaves. Cut each bunch into three sections (or four, if the bunch is long).

Step 2: Place the cut escarole in a clean sink filled halfway with cold water. Swirl the leaves around. The dirt will sink to the bottom.

Step 3: Scoop out the cleaned escarole and place it in a drainer.

Make Sautéed Escarole

Step 4: Place your raisins in a small bowl of water to plump. Fill a tall, 8-quart pot about 2/3 full with salted water, enough to cover the escarole when you add it later. Put the pot on the stove over high heat to boil. Fill your sink about halfway with cold water.

Step 5: Cut off the root end of the escarole. With the bunch horizontally in front of you, hold the leaves closed and slice the escarole into three equal sections (or two, if the bunch is small). Place the escarole leaves in the water-filled sink and swirl them around to remove the dirt.

Step 6: When the water on the stove is boiling, add the cleaned escarole to the pot. When the water returns to boiling, let the escarole cook for one more minute.

Step 7: Drain the escarole in a colander in the sink and rinse with cold water to cool it off. While the escarole is draining, peel and slice the garlic. Drain the raisins.

Step 8: When the escarole is cooled, use tongs to place the greens in a lint-free kitchen towel. Wrap the towel around the escarole and squeeze out the liquid. You also could use paper towels, but be careful if the greens are still really warm.

Step 9: Heat the olive oil in a 12-inch skillet. Add the garlic, and when it becomes fragrant, add the escarole to the pan, tossing to mix. Add the salt and pepper. Sauté the greens for about three minutes, then add the raisins and pine nuts, stirring to combine.

Step 10: Sauté for another three minutes, or to your liking. Taste again for seasonings.

Step 11: Either serve immediately or let the escarole come to room temperature first. Refrigerate the leftovers for up to five days. Leftovers should be served at room temperature or just slightly heated in the microwave.


Buying escarole

  • Escarole looks like leafy green lettuce.
  • Look for it near the heads of lettuce in the grocery store year-round.
  • It’s usually next to the endive, so check the labels to see which one is which. You also can ask someone in the produce department to help you.
  • Make sure the escarole is bright green and not wilted. The leaves should be curly.

Storing raw escarole

  • Wrap the unwashed greens in a damp paper towel and store them in an open plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. This will help keep the escarole fresh for 3-5 days.

Cook the Sautéed Escarole

  • Briefly boil (blanche) the escarole to reduce bitterness before sauteeing it. This works for any bitter greens.
  • Carefully squeeze out the liquid from the cooled escarole before adding it to your pan. This keeps the greens from splashing too much in the oil and prevents the final dish from being too soggy.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving: 8

Amount Per Serving

  • Calories: 121kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 9g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Fat: 10g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 6g
  • Sodium: 99mg
  • Potassium: 423mg
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Vitamin A: 2439IU
  • Vitamin C: 8mg
  • Calcium: 62mg
  • Iron: 1mg

* All nutritional information provided is approximate/estimated and can vary depending on several factors such as the exact ingredients you use, so is not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietician for special diet advice.
* Nutritional values were obtained with automatic software using the amounts of products used. To get the most accurate representation of the nutritional values, you should calculate them with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. You are solely responsible for the nutritional information obtained to be accurate.