Whether you are looking for a recipe or someone suggests something, you learn something new every single day.
As you explore ingredients and recipes, you may also run into escarole.
It is often mentioned in a plethora of different recipes, but if you think about it, you have no idea what it means.
You feel like taking a guess, but you will be surprised.
While the name suggests a meaty ingredient, you are far from the truth – it is actually a leafy green vegetable.
Now, another question pops up – what does escarole taste like? Is there anything you can use it for?
What is Escarole?
In some stores, you may find this leafy vegetable sold as escarole.
In some others, it could be broad leaf endive or perhaps Bavarian endive.
There are way more names for it, but these are only the main ones.
Escarole is easy to identify because of its curly leaves.
Outer leaves are a bit darker.
It is similar to chicory – after all, it is part of the same family.
Now, escarole is sometimes considered a specialty item.
Growing it does not involve any major extra costs, but the specialty status makes it more expensive.
According to The Spruce Eats, when cooked, most people will not be able to tell the difference between chicory and escarole.
Therefore, to be visible and make an impression, it is often left uncooked.
Now that you know a thing or two about it, what should you know about the taste?
What Does Escarole Taste Like?
Before digging deeper into the taste and texture of escarole, you should know that darker leaves are normally on the outside.
They are firmer, but also more bitter.
On the other hand, the leaves on the inside are softer and not that bad in taste.
Now, escarole can be easily compared to radicchio, chicory, or endives.
It is green and has a fresh and refreshing aroma.
Each bite will give you a mix of flavors – juicy here and there, a bit of sweetness and bitterness, as well as piquant flavors.
While it does look like classic lettuce, the truth is that its flavor is different.
Some may say the flavor is similar to kale’s aroma.
In other words, it is sharper and way stronger.
This is one of the things people like about escarole – it is far from dull and boring.
The texture will not disappoint either.
Whether you cook it or have it raw, escarole is super crispy and refreshing – it will complement both tender and crunchy foods.
The leafy parts tend to be a bit thick and quite chewy, so it may feel like spinach at times.
There are no doubts about it – escarole needs much more chewing than the regular lettuce or other veggies in the family.
However, it is not too problematic – it just has a hearty texture that can complement a plethora of different dishes.
How to Prepare and Cook Escarole?
Here comes one of the best news about escarole.
While you can prepare it in a wide variety of ways, you can also keep it simple.
Sometimes, you just need to rinse it and make sure it is thoroughly clean.
You can use and eat it raw, so there will be no cooking involved – the preparation only takes a few minutes then.
Based on Master Class, you can take escarole even further.
When raw, it makes a perfect addition to any type of salad.
Just cut it into small pieces and mix it in – simple as that.
It goes with all kinds of ingredients.
You can also use escarole as a side dish – simply saute it, whether you use red pepper flakes, garlic cloves, or olive oil.
Escarole can be used in soups, too – there are more soups that can do with some extra escarole, such as Italian wedding soups.
The point is – if you have lots of veggies in the soup, slip in some escarole for a unique flavor.
Finally, you can bring escarole into more dishes – even if they actually involve cooking, such as roasting or frying.
It is a versatile veggie that will work anywhere, anytime.
Bottom line, escarole is definitely not the most popular veggie out there.
In fact, you may not even find it everywhere – many supermarkets sell substitutes that will get the job done, such as chicory or perhaps broccoli.
But then, escarole is quite versatile and will impress, regardless of how you prepare and cook it.
It is not the type of boring vegetable that goes unnoticed in salads – instead, its texture and slight bitterness will stand out.
What does escarole taste like? It depends on how you cook it, but also on what leaves you use.
However, you may not be able to get rid of its bitterness, so you need to work your way around it.