Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Escarole My Escarole

Cate back again with another healthy writer recipe.

Last Sunday I went to the Farmer's Market looking for strawberries. I fell in love with the escarole though so I had to bring it home.

I mean just look at this pretty, green head.




My Farmer's Market posts little helpful signs telling you why you should be eating their produce. The one for escarole sold me. Rich in Potassium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Vitamins A and K, Folate.
According to some websites, escarole is also fat free, carb free and carries only 4 (YES FOUR) calories per half cup serving.

I'm sure we all know about the various benefits of some of those ingredients so today I'll just focus on one. FOLATE.

Why do you need folate?




The National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements explains that folate is a water soluble vitamin, which means it is not stored in the body and must be taken in daily. 

All the various websites I looked at focused on different benefits, but they all had some in common:
Lower risk of depression/mood disorders
Healthy heart
Cancer prevention (Something about protecting the DNA)
Blood cell production (protection against anemia)
Helps fight dementia

 If you want more info - just Google Health benefits of folate.



Enough of the science for now. Let's get cooking!

I had a really delicious looking recipe I wanted to make.




 Alas, my oven is broken. So I improvised.

First I set the salmon to poach in this pan.


I LOVE this pan. Everything cooks perfectly and it's a dream to clean.

I would have added the herbs and lemon then, but the dog likes to share my salmon and I didn't want him having the lemon.


Fenway waiting for his salmon.

Once I removed the dog's portion, I added in lemon, some white wine and garlic and let it simmer while I cooked the star ingredient.

I cooked the escarole in my wok because it's big enough for all those huge leafy greens. But first I sauteed some freeze-dried garlic with a smidgeon of olive oil.  


Then I piled in the greens and covered. I didn't add any water, I just left on the water that remained after washing the leaves. (They were very muddy!)



Once the escarole wilted, 






I ladled the salmon mix on top.



Now, truth time. The escarole was a tad bitter. Maybe from the lemon, maybe because it's escarole. *Shrug*

But, timing is everything and the stormy skies had finally cleared. I needed to walk the dog before the next round of storms.

It was also hot in my kitchen.



So I stuck the plate in the refrigerator.  When I got back from walking Fen, it was nicely chilled and tasted very good (not so bitter). So I recommend cooking with enough time to chill.


 One more thing -

Turns out, according to my research, those strawberries would have been a good source of folate too. That got me thinking, but you'll have to come back next week to find out the result of that thinking. :)


So, let's chat. Do you eat escarole? Have a recipe to share?

But what I really want to know is - do you eat certain foods just because you know they're good for you?

 And just in case you're looking for some alternate sources of folate - I found this graphic.

Check out the website for more information on folate.

25 comments:

  1. Love the signs at your Farmer's Market! That's so helpful.
    Honestly... I'm not a green-leafy-food eater. I'm just not. In a salad, maybe. If it's drowned in ranch dressing which brings its own issues.
    But THIS? yes, this I could do. And salmon is nice and cheap here. I looked at a big piece today for 4.99 a lb, Chinook salmon fresh caught on the Columbia near us. But I had already told the kids we were having spaghetti. Sigh.
    But I'm trying this the next time I make salmon. Looks delicious!

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    1. Virginia, you can't imagine how jealous I am of your salmon prices! It's like buying gold here. Over twice that price.

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    2. Missy, watch the ads for it to go on sale. I usually buy one of those big slabs and then cut it into servings and freeze them. Normally they're around $9.99 lb, but once a month or so I'll find them for anywhere from $4.99-6.99 a pound. I usually pick up a couple of slabs then.

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    3. Great idea, Mindy! I'll watch for whole fish. I'm not sure if my grocery store does that, but I may be able to find it at Aldi.

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    4. I usually get my salmon at Costco so it's not unreasonable.

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  2. Good morning, Virginia. I don't eat as many greens as I should but it's because I hate washing them. Yesterday, washing them was a really good excuse to play in cold water. It felt sooooo good given the disgusting humidity.

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  3. Mary, once again you've presented a food I've never tried. At least I don't think I have. You never know what might have snuck into a salad somewhere.

    My husband loves greens (mustard, collard, spinach) and is always complaining that don't fix them often enough. Guess I should remedy that. Will have to keep my eyes open for escarole.

    Now, as for eating certain foods because they're good for me? Occasionally, but it's more the exception than the rule. We eat a lot of salmon, knowing that it's good for us, however we also happen to like it. Steak is a good source of iron. I need iron and I LOVE steak. Let's see...dark chocolate has antioxidants, as does red wine. Guess that about covers it. 😉

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    1. Mindy, you and my sister would get along swimmingly. She LOVES steak too. I like the taste of it but I've always had problems eating meat and poultry. Vegetables are a much better match for me.

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  4. Morning Mary Cate, I've never tried escarole and now am thinking I should. I already eat most of the other items on the folate chart so guess I'm good to go there. But I've never thought to cook those leafy greens. I thought you ate them raw. Sounds yummy. But I must try with something other than salmon. Am not fond of fish.

    Thanks for sharing this. And I love science lessons.

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    1. Sandra, from what I've heard, lightly cooking some of them (like escarole, kale, chard) makes it easier for your body to access he nutrients. I like to steam them for a minute or so and then chill.

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    2. Sandra, I forgot to add in before, I actually enjoy the science of this too. It makes me feel good to know I'm making healthy choices.

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  5. PS So glad the pup got some salmon. Our dogs ate all the fish we caught. They loved it. :)

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    1. You should see him whimper for shrimp!

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  6. As far as I know, I haven't had escarole, either. But I love greens, and I often fix my salmon this way on a bed of wilted greens. If I don't have fresh available, I'll use frozen spinach.

    And I do eat some foods just because they're good for me - but if I don't like them, I'll only eat them once :) I'm glad there is a big variety of ways to get the different vitamins and minerals we need. Where we live, we don't have a huge selection of fresh foods, especially in the winter (distance from distribution center + commercial driving laws + bitter cold weather = spoiled produce), but frozen can be a good substitute.

    Thanks for the recipe! I'll look for escarole this weekend!

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    1. Jan, I love to put salmon on spinach. I usually use orange slices with it and a drizzle of the juice for flavor.

      A few (well way more than a few, come to think of it) years ago, my daughter did an experiment for the Science Fair. Turns out the frozen food maintained a higher level of Vitamin C because the produce wasn't exposed to oxygen for as long and oxygen depletes the levels once the produce is picked.

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  7. Mary, I love greens!! I know I would love this! Thanks for the recipe.

    But I have to say I when I first saw the title, I was thinking escargot!! LOL I was thinking, EWWWWWW.

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    1. Too funny, Missy. Maybe you could have some escarole with your escargot.

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  8. My daughter is into all things leafy and green and I'm sure she's fed me escarole...seem to remember something about the outer leaves being the most bitter so you don't eat them. You go down a couple of layers. I bet this would work with marinated tofu, stirred and fried and then drizzled on top. LOL, I know that sounds less appealing than salmon. And Fenway wouldn't be pleased if you offered him tofu instead of fish. Lovely dog, by the way. And he looks so earnestly happy.

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    1. Thanks, Kav. He's always happy when he's being fed.

      My daughter would do it with tofu or with tempeh. Me, I'd rather just skip that and go straight for the greens.

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  9. Cate/Mary/To Whom It May Concern: There is nothing like shopping at the cool roadside stands in Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens. And food carts. And little shops. Did you know there's a CARROT CAKE STORE in the Bronx, right across from Van Cortlandt Park. It sells... you guessed it!!!... carrot cake!!!! I love a whole store dedicated to carrot cake! Other than the cool Seattle seaside market, those fun markets and stores in the city. But prices... oy vay, your prices are a little crazy, for sure.

    Chelsea market.... There's a bakery called Ruthy's Bakery!!!! I'm in NYC!!!!

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    1. I'll have to be on the lookout for Ruthy's Bakery. But not now. I'm trying to shed those winter carb pounds.

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  10. For what it's worth, some of you may have had escarole in restaurants. Many of the Italian restaurants here serve it sautéed with garlic and oil. I do love that. Very tasty. I was just looking for something a bit lighter.

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    1. I've had it that way, Mary. It's really good. I've become a big Romaine lover... Such a nice green!!!

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  11. I'm always looking for salmon recipes. This one looks great, except for the fact that the one time I tried poaching it didn't turn out so well.

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