Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Panini with Braised Escarole, Apples and Walnuts

Escarole is a type of endive, all of which are chicories.   Like other chicories, escaroles prefer cool temperatures and are grown in Houston as a winter green.  This variety is Natacha from Johnny's Seeds.  We started seeds in August and September, and our garden is now full of rows of escarole ready for harvest. 

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
 Check out our other sandwiches in this series:
Panini with Anjou Pears, Caramelized Walnuts, Brie and Arugula Pesto Mayo
Caramelized Apple Melt with Aged Cheddar and Arugula
Green Apple, Caramelized Onion and Brie Panini


    1. Another fabulous sandwich! I love the sauteed apples in here.

    2. I just love all of your recipes. I'll have to try this one, I've never braised anything before (I don't think). I would love to get some chickens, but first I need a backyard so I can maybe grow my own vegetables like you do!! :)

    3. Another of your great sandwiches! How big is your garden Rachel? I can imagine I would just go crazy in the middle of that greenery!

    4. Waw,...georgous, healthy & tasty panini's !! I also love escarole!!


    5. Your sandwiches are really good. This is another great combination.


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