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Garlicky Sautéed Escarole

A simple pile of sautéed greens, accented with lots of garlic and a touch of red pepper flakes, is one of my favorite any-night-of-the-week sides. Whether it’s spinach, kale, Swiss chard, or escarole, the preparation is quick to pull off and goes with just about any main dish. The latter — escarole — is perhaps the most misunderstood, but is a leafy green that I think deserves way more attention than it gets. When cooked, it’s meltingly tender and almost juicy, with a pleasant bitterness that counters the garlicky oil it’s sautéed in.

Prep time: 8 minutes
Cook time: 9 minutes to 11 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients

About 1 1/2 pounds escarole (2 medium or 1 large head)
4 cloves garlic
1/2 small lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed

Instructions

1. Remove and discard any very tough outer dark green or browned leaves from about 1 1/2 pounds escarole. Tear the remaining leaves into rough 2-inch pieces. Rinse the leaves well in a colander. Drain well, but do not dry. Thinly slice 4 garlic cloves. Juice 1/2 small lemon until you have 1 tablespoon.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large, high-sided sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the garlic and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes if desired, and sauté until the garlic is softened and fragrant (do not let the garlic brown), about 30 seconds.

3. Add the escarole a few handfuls at a time, stirring after each addition so that they start to wilt, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and toss to combine. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the escarole is just tender, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the lemon juice and stir to combine. Taste and season with more kosher salt as needed.

Source: thekitchn.com

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