Escarole forms big heads of mildly bitter, soft leaves. The leaves in the center are supposed to be milder in flavor, but we always use the whole head together. Escarole is rich in folic acid, fiber, and vitamins A and K, and makes a wonderful cooked green. Here we continue our sandwich series* with a panini stuffed with braised escarole, sautéed apples and toasted walnuts. The sweet apples, bitter greens and earthy nuts meld perfectly in this filling panini. Using escarole fresh from the garden makes it taste even better.
Panini with Braised Escarole, Sautéed Apples and Toasted Walnuts
makes 2 panini
2 Tbs butter
1/2 Granny Smith apple, thickly sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 escarole head, cut into 1/2" pieces
1/2 tsp cider vinegar
1 Tbs water
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted
4 slices sourdough or similar bread
sea salt and black pepper
olive oil for pan
- Sautée apple in 1 Tbs butter over medium heat until soft and starting to caramelize, about 2 minutes. Remove apples from pan and set aside.
- Add remaining 1 Tbs butter to pan and sautée shallot over medium-low heat until softened. Add garlic and cook briefly, then add escarole and sautée until it starts to wilt. Add vinegar and water and cook until tender, about four more minutes. Add apples, walnuts, and salt and pepper to taste and sautée briefly.
- Top bread slices with braised escarole filling and grill on panini press or in pan lightly coated with olive oil. If using pan, use another pan to press sandwich, and weigh down with a tea kettle or similar. Flip to evenly grill both sides and serve immediately.
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Green Apple, Caramelized Onion and Brie Panini