Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Greens Morelli (Utica Greens)

Garlicky, greens, baby. It's a Utica thang! This dish is a VERY popular Italo-American side dish where I grew up in New York.  Great as a side, topping for a steak sandwich or meatball sub, stuffed in chicken, pork, or leftovers can be tossed in to make a frittata in the morning!  These greens, actually, blossoms as they sit, so I think the leftovers are even better the next day!  This is a staple dish on EVERY Italian restaurant menu in my hometown.  Now, from my kitchen to yours, I share with you. Delizioso, tutti!

·        3 heads of escarole(rinsed)
·        2 tablespoons of olive oil
·        2 cloves of garlic (pushed through a garlic press)
·        5-8 Hot cherry peppers (roughly chopped; quantity depending on how much heat you like)
·        5 or 6 slices of Prosciutto, torn into 2 inch pieces
·        1 cup of plain bread crumbs, (not Italian.)
·        1 cup of artichoke hearts (quartered)
·        2 cups of mini portobello mushrooms, (quartered)
·        ¼ cup of grated cheese (Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano) optional, but who doesn’t love cheese??

1. Cut the bottom of each escarole head, and chop into large (4 square-inch sized) pieces.  Steam the escarole in a wire basket over a large pot of boiling water (2 inches of water) for about 7-8 minutes, or until limp and still a bit firm.  It will reduce greatly as it steams. (Do not boil the escarole, as it may get to mushy)
2. Meanwhile, in a 12 in skillet, crisp the prosciutto, first.  Next, add the hot cherry peppers, artichokes, mushrooms, and garlic on low heat in the 2 tablespoons of olive oil
3. Next, with tongs, remove the escarole from the wire basket and add it to the sauté and toss, turning quite a bit so the ingredients incorporate.
4. Sprinkle in the bread crumbs liberally and toss, thoroughly.  (The breadcrumbs give a nice, fuller- bodied texture you want.)
5. Sprinkle in the grated cheese and toss again.
6.  Let sit for at least 15 minutes, so the dish can blossom.