Utica Greens (Escarole with Proscuitto, Hot Peppers, Grated Cheese, and Breadcrumbs)
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Spicy and flavorful greens good enough to eat as a main meal
Author:
Recipe type: Greens
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 large heads escarole (or any greens that you like; kale, swiss chard, etc)
  • 6 to 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil plus 1 tablespoon
  • 2 to 4 cherry hot peppers (to taste), chopped/not seeded*
  • ⅓ pound of proscuitto (Italian ham)**, chopped (can also use salami, bacon, other ham)
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs plus 2 tablespoons for topping, toasted
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese or pecorino romano (my preference) plus 2 tablespoons for topping
  • ¼ to ½ cup chicken stock
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Cut off and discard the hard bottom stem from each head of escarole
  2. Wash the escarole thoroughly, remove any damaged leaves, and rough chop
  3. Place escarole in 5 quart stock pot and fill with enough water to cover greens
  4. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 10 minutes (do not overcook) (some of the greens are cooked until the greens are extremely wilted and some people prefer it that way - cook to your liking, I prefer the greens a bit crisp)
  5. Drain escarole very well, press out all water/broth from greens, and set aside
  6. In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat
  7. Add hot peppers until softened, about 3 or 4 minutes, then add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes more.
  8. Add the cooked and drained greens to pan and stir to combine.
  9. Optional but highly recommended - place greens in refrigerator overnight so the garlic infuses through the greens - this changes the flavor!
  10. Finish by combining ½ cup toasted breadcrumbs, ¼ cup grated cheese, and 1 tablespoon of ollive then add all but 2 to 4 tablespoons to the greens. (reserve the 2 to 4 tablespoons to top the dish)
  11. Add proscuitto/ham, enough chicken broth to moisten the greens, and then taste and adjust salt and pepper to taste
  12. Place greens in an over-safe casserole, top with reserved breadcrumbs and cheese
  13. Place casserole under broiler for 4 to 6 minutes until brown checking frequently
Notes
May prepare this dish ahead of time if needed

*Can use red pepper flakes to taste in place of cherry hot peppers, jarred hot cherry peppers or any hot peppers that you enjoy.
**Parma or San Daniele; other brands are not recommended
Recipe by Feeling Foodish at http://feelingfoodish.com/utica-greens-escarole-with-proscuitto-hot-peppers-grated-cheese-and-breadcrumbs/