What Is Escarole, and How Is It Eaten

What Is Escarole?

Escarole is a vegetable with long green leaves, which are edible when cooked. Its name comes from the Latin word “escare” meaning to save or shelter. The plant was first cultivated in Spain during the Middle Ages and then spread throughout Europe and North America. It was introduced into England around 1650 and became popular among farmers because it could be grown indoors without needing soil or sunlight.

The leaves have a bitter taste and they can cause stomach upset if eaten raw. They are usually used fresh, but dried escarole leaves were once common in some parts of the world such as India.

Escarole is now mostly grown commercially in North America, although it’s still commonly found growing wild in many areas of the world.

Escaroles are not plants like spinach; rather they’re roots that grow underground and produce their own food source. When the roots are cut, they release a liquid called escarole.

Escarole is very nutritious and it contains vitamins A, C, B6 and K. It also has minerals such as iron and calcium.

Escarole is also high in protein (around 30%), carbohydrates (about 15%) and fat (15%). One cup of escarole provides over 200 calories!

How Is Escarole Eaten?

Escarole can be eaten both raw and cooked. If you eat them raw, they can cause gas or diarrhea. It’s best to cook the vegetable if you intend on eating a large amount of it. It can be steamed, boiled or baked.

When eating cooked escarole, you can also eat the stem and the base of the plant. The leaves are soft enough that they can be eaten raw in salad.

Escarole tastes similar to endive and chicory. It’s used in many of the same dishes such as salads and sandwiches.

Escarole can also be eaten with other vegetables such as tomatoes, potatoes, olives, nuts and tuna.

Escarole can be easily found in greengrocers or supermarkets where it is often sold mixed with other salad ingredients. It can also be ordered from more gourmet food shops online.

How Is Escarole Used?

Escarole can be eaten on its own, but it’s also a very common ingredient in salads. Escarole is also used in soups and stews such as minestrone. It is often used in Italian and French cooking. In fact, escarole is one of the five vegetables traditionally used to make “garden salad”.

Escarole can also be used as a wrap for other ingredients. It’s often used in “rollitini di indivia e prezzemolo” which is a typical Roman recipe of rolls of escarole leaves filled with mashed anchovies and pre-cooked rice.

It is then wrapped in puff pastry and baked. This is then sliced and served with a lemon wedge.

More information: What Is Escarole, and How Is It Eaten?

Sources & references used in this article:

Evolution of shelf life parameters of ready-to-eat escarole (Cichorium endivia var. latifolium) subjected to different cutting operations by A Miceli, R Gaglio, N Francesca, A Ciminata… – Scientia horticulturae, 2019 – Elsevier

Microbial Ecology of Retail Ready-to-Eat Escarole and Red Chicory Sold in Palermo City, Italy by N Francesca, R Guarcello, V Craparo… – Journal of food quality …, 2019 – 18.194.240.220

Growth potential of Escherichia coli O157: H7 on fresh-cut fruits (melon and pineapple) and vegetables (carrot and escarole) stored under different conditions by M Abadias, I Alegre, M Oliveira, R Altisent, I Viñas – Food Control, 2012 – Elsevier

Evaluation of microbiological and physico‐chemical parameters of retail ready‐to‐eat mono‐varietal salads by R Gaglio, A Miceli, MT Sardina… – Journal of Food …, 2019 – Wiley Online Library

Growth potential of Salmonella spp. and Listeria monocytogenes in nine types of ready-to-eat vegetables stored at variable temperature conditions during shelf-life by AS Sant’Ana, MS Barbosa, MT Destro… – International journal of …, 2012 – Elsevier

EAT by B Rules – 2013 – static.urbandaddy.com

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