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Meatless Monday: Braised Escarole with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts

October 10, 2011

The recipe came from Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything” cookbook.

It is a fantastic resource and one of my most “reached for” cookbooks in my collection. It answers just about every cooking question that a person could have and gives great basic recipes for any food that you can think of! I use it a lot for fresh produce when I just need a bit of guidance on basic cooking techniques.

This week, I bought a ton of fresh veggies and fruits to increase our whole foods intake. I had a bag of escarole and all of the ingredients necessary to prepare the dish as directed.

Serves 4.

1 bunch fresh escarole–rinsed thoroughly to remove sandy soil clinging to leaves. The best way to do this is to submerge the greens in a large bowl of water and allow the sand to sink to the bottom. Dump the water and repeat. Rinse leaves and blot dry with paper towels. I did not follow this and my dish was a bit gritty but still edible! I’m so used to buying pre washed greens that I made a classic “rookie” mistake.

2 tbs olive oil

2 cloves garlic minced

1 cup water

1/2 cup raisins or currants (soak in warm water 10 minutes to soften)

1/2 cup pine nuts

salt and pepper

4 cups Brown Rice (cooked)

Directions: coarsely chop escarole. Heat olive oil in large skillet over med low heat  and saute the garlic 1-2 minutes until lightly browned. Add escarole and saute 2-3 minutes until wilted. Add water and bring to a boil. Cover skillet and allow to simmer 5-8 minutes until greens are tender and most of water is absorbed. Add raisins, pine nuts, salt and pepper and cook 1-2 minutes uncovered. Serve hot over brown rice.

I have started preparing a batch of brown rice and leaving it in the fridge. As more of my meals are vegetable and grain based…it makes it easy to toss in to soups, salads, or serve alongside roasted veggies. It takes 40 minutes–largely unattended to prepare and it’s worth it! You can also use the pre cooked varieties available in vacuum sealed bags in the store. More expensive but still tasty!

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