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Stuffed Escarole

Green, curly leaves of escarole stuffed with bread crumbs, anchovies, and raisins were a hallmark of my grandmother’s cooking. Braising the escarole gives it a very nice flavor that contrasts beautifully with the sweetness of the raisins or cranberries.

Serves 4 to 6.


1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries

1 medium head escarole

2/3 cup fresh bread crumbs

2 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano cheese

2 large cloves garlic, peeled and mashed

2 anchovies in oil, finely minced (Optional)

Coarsely ground black pepper

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon minced fresh basil

5 tablespoons Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/4 cup water or white wine

Salt to taste


Soak the raisins or dried cranberries, covered in water, in a small bowl for 15 minutes.

Rinse and drain the escarole well, but do not detach the leaves from the core.

In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, cheese, half the garlic, the anchovies, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, oregano, basil, and 3 tablespoons of the olive oil.

Drain the raisins.  Add half to the bread crumb mixture.

Carefully spread the escarole leaves open to the center and stuff the filling in the middle.  Close up the leaves and tie the escarole firmly with kitchen string so the filling will not fall out.

Place the escarole bundle in a Dutch oven or slow cooker.  Sprinkle on the remaining olive oil, garlic, and raisins.  Add the water or wine, cover the pot, and cook over low heat for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the leaves have wilted and are soft.

Carefully remove the escarole to a cutting board and cut off the strings.  Cut the bundle crosswise into pieces and serve with the pan juices, and salt and pepper to taste.


This recipe is featured on show 1810, Escarole Rules! – Scarola Governa!


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