Sunday, March 24, 2013

Utica Greens (Gasp, a Recipe!)

I rarely share recipes on here, but this one is so good, it would be rude of me not to: 

When I got a craving for escarole with hot peppers and breadcrumbs - an Italian dish I first encountered in Utica, NY about 15 years ago - I turned to Google, hoping to find something similar that I could adapt to gluten-free. Lo and behold, the first result: Utica Greens, by Marie over on Feeling Foodish. I made my first batch on the spot and, lemme just tell you, it was like being back at The Chesterfield in Utica. Serious Italian greens. I followed her recipe with only slight modifications, and she's graciously allowed me to share it with you here. 


2 heads escarole or broccoli rabe 
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 hot cherry peppers, diced (can sub pepperoncini if you want to dial down the heat)
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated pecorino romano 
1/2 cup chicken broth (Please don't skip the broth - it makes the dish)


Bring salted water to boil in a soup pot. Add thoroughly washed greens once water comes to a boil. Cook until tender (5-10 min), drain, and set aside. 

While you're cooking the greens, you can toast the breadcrumbs. I use Schar, which are pale and neutral in flavor. 

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until browned to your liking. 



Let cool, then mix in the pecorino romano. 

In large saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons each of olive oil and butter over medium heat. 
Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. 
Add peppers, cook for another 3 or 4 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add greens and chicken broth, cooking until chicken broth is absorbed. 
Add breadcrumb/cheese mixture and stir to combine. 

I can't even. So good. 

Great the next day and freezes well. I made a massive lasagne last week and froze these greens alongside individual portions of lasagne - kickass lunches for over a week.

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