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overhead view of utica greens in black pan with serving spoon

Utica Greens

One of my favorite ways to make escarole. These greens are the perfect side dish, main meal, or even along side of eggs in the morning with toast. I can't get enough!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 315kcal
Author Marie


  • 2 to 3 large heads escarole (may substitute kale or swiss chard)
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 hot cherry peppers diced, (or more to taste), plus brine (here I substituted sliced banana peppers)
  • 3 ounces prosciutto (Italian ham), chopped (can also use salami, bacon, other ham)
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs dried
  • ¾ cup parmesan cheese grated (or Romano cheese)
  • chicken stock or hot water (in a pinch) up to about ¼ cup, as needed
  • black pepper to taste


  • Cut off and discard the hard bottom stem from each head of escarole
  • Wash the escarole thoroughly, remove any damaged leaves, and rough chop. Escarole can be very sandy so make sure it's been rinsed well.
  • Place cleaned and chopped escarole in stock pot, large enough to fill with enough salted water to cover greens (salty like the ocean).
  • Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes - cook to your liking, I prefer the greens a bit crisp.
  • Drain escarole well, let cool, and set aside.
  • In the meantime, using a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat
  • Add onion and garlic and heat until fragrant and onion becomes slightly translucent. Then add hot peppers and continue cooking for 1 or 2 more minutes. Add a bit of pepper brine (I add about 2 tablespoons or so).
  • Add the diced meat (prosciutto or whatever you are using) .
  • If necessary, chop the escarole a bit more (made sure the pieces are bite sized) and add the escarole to the pan and continue heating until the greens are warmed.
  • Finish by topping with breadcrumbs, and grated cheese.
  • Add chicken broth or hot water slowly to get the mixture moistened (it should not be too dry) a bit. Use just enough- you don't want soupy greens.
  • Serve with crusty bread and enjoy!


May prepare this dish ahead of time if needed
May use red pepper flakes in place of hot peppers and omit brine.
Salt not recommended as there is plenty of salt (cooked greens are in salted water, sliced meats are salty and so is the grated cheese). 


Calories: 315kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 491mg | Potassium: 831mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 4973IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 308mg | Iron: 3mg