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Kalyn's Kitchen

Sauteed Escarole with Parmesan and Toasted Pine Nuts

If you’ve never tried cooking Escarole, grab some at the store and make this Sauteed Escarole with Parmesan and Toasted Pine Nuts! Use Side Dishes to find more recipes like this one.

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Sauteed Escarole with Parmesan and Toasted Pine Nuts found on KalynsKitchen.com

Escarole is a plant I’ve been fascinated by ever since I wrote a post about escarole for BlogHer over two years ago. Since then I’m embarrassed to admit the number of times I’ve passed it up at the market, or worse, bought some and never used it. So I was determined to use this head of escarole, even though a funeral and a trip to Austin postponed it until the escarole was getting impatient. If you’re not familiar with escarole, it’s a type of endive that can be eaten raw or cooked. It’s an interesting plant that I had fun experimenting with, and this Sauteed Escarole with Parmesan and Toasted Pine Nuts was really quite delicious!

I thought escarole was fun for Weekend Herb Blogging, but even more fun is that when I made Cannellini Bean Soup with Sausage and Escarole for WHB a year ago, the host was Anna from Anna’s Cool Finds, and this week Anna is hosting again. To participate, check the rules, posted at Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once, which is now headquarters for WHB.

Sauteed Escarole with Parmesan and Toasted Pine Nuts found on KalynsKitchen.com

I cut the escarole in half through the core, and then trimmed off the core end of each piece. Then I sliced it into ribbons just over an inch thick. Since my escarole had been hanging out in the fridge and had some brown edges, I washed it in the salad spinner, and spun dry.

Recently I discovered I had an abundance of pine nuts that were close to the “use-by” date (something my mother would have called a good problem to have.) I have no idea if it’s traditional, but I toasted some to throw on top of the escarole when it was done. Escarole only takes a few minutes to cook, especially since I wanted to retain just the tiniest bit of crispness. I heated a wide non-stick pan, added some olive oil and a pinch of red pepper flakes, and here’s the escarole when it first went in.

I turned it over about every minute, so here it is just over a minute later, starting to wilt but still pretty much filling up the pan. Here’s one more shot, after about 3 minutes. I cooked this big head of escarole for 4 minutes, to get wilted greens that were not completely soft. It’s a personal preference, so if you like your greens a bit softer, cook then a tiny bit longer. If you have some kind of wonderful sea salt, use it to season the escarole after it’s cooked.

More Ways to Cook Escarole:

Cannellini Bean Soup with Roasted Italian Sausage and Escarole from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Mom’s Italian Escarole and Bean Soup from Food Blogga
Turkey Escarole Soup from The Perfect Pantry
Braised Escarole with Apples and Bacon from The Kitchn
Sauteed Escarole with Currants and Capers from Shazam in the Kitchen
Escarole with Fried Garlic, Dates, and Shaved Cheese from Whipped

Sauteed Escarole with Parmesan and Toasted Pine Nuts

If you’ve never tried cooking Escarole, grab some at the store and make this Sauteed Escarole with Parmesan and Toasted Pine Nuts!


  • 1 large head escarole
  • 1 T olive oil (use more or less, depending on your pan)
  • pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 T pine nuts, toasted in dry pan
  • 1 T Parmesan Cheese
  • sea salt to taste


  1. Cut escarole in half, cutting top-to-bottom through the core. Then lay flat on cutting board and cut off the core end, cutting about an inch above the core to cut off some of the thickest part of the leaves.
  2. After core is removed, slice escarole into ribbons just over an inch thick. (You can also chop the ribbons slightly, which I always do because I hate long pieces of greens.)
  3. Wash escarole if needed, and dry well. (I used a salad spinner.)
  4. Heat a small frying pan, add pine nuts and toast in dry pan until nuts start to slightly brown, shaking the pan all the time the pine nuts are toasting. (You will smell them just before they turn color, which is a signal that it’s time to turn off the heat or move the pan away.) This doesn’t take more than 2-3 minutes at most.
  5. Heat a heavy non-stick pan over medium-high heat, then add olive oil (and red pepper flakes if using) and add escarole a handful at a time, turning over each time you add more.
  6. Saute escarole, turning about every minutes, until it’s slightly wilted but not completely soft, about 3-4 minutes.
  7. Remove escarole to serving dish, season to taste with salt (preferably sea salt), sprinkle with Parmesan and sprinkle pine nuts over.
  8. Serve immediately. This is best while still hot from the pan.


Recipe created by Kalyn with inspiration from some recipes listed.

All images and text ©

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Sauteed Escarole with Parmesan and Toasted Pine Nuts is a great dish for low-carb and low-glycemic diet plans, and for any phase of the South Beach Diet. You might want to be a bit more moderate with the pine nuts if you’re strictly following the fat guidelines for South Beach.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Nutritional Information?
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into this nutrition analyzer, which will calculate it for you. Or if you’re a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.

Sauteed Escarole with Parmesan and Toasted Pine Nuts found on KalynsKitchen.com

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12 comments on “Sauteed Escarole with Parmesan and Toasted Pine Nuts”

  1. Lucille, lucky you to have a source of home-grown escarole!

  2. Great recipe! My gardener friend just harvested the last of her greens and gave me huge bag of lovely escarole. This is such a nice alternative to making soup.

  3. You’ve gotten me thinking about buying some escarole now! Great post for WHB! Funny how the timing of my hosting turned out.

  4. I have been going gaga for escarole lately!! I like it because it’s kind of in between the texture of lettuce and greens (more substantial than iceberg lettuce, not as sturdy as mustard greens/kale/etc.)

    This recipe looks really simple and yummy!

  5. so simple! Ah yeah, can’t wait to try.

  6. I’m a fairly recent convert to escarole, too. Whether I use it in soup or as a side dish, I always put a bit of red pepper flakes in it, so I’m glad to see that you do, too. And a good finishing salt makes all the difference!

  7. I’ve never had escarole, now I have a way to try it. Thanks.

  8. Looks delicious — anything with parmesan and toasted pine nuts is going to be excellent 🙂

  9. that looks nommmm! i love the slight resistance and toasty nuttiness the pine nuts give!

  10. I’m just leaving the house, get your emailed recipe, and now I know what I’m making tonight. Thanks for this. Used to make escarole all the time too and always loved it. Have no idea why I stopped making it.

  11. Sounds wonderful! I love new ways to cook greens–this is really unusual, and I’m sure the pine nuts add a great dimension. I’ve only had escarole raw until now so must try this. So sorry to hear about the sad events that postponed the recipe.

  12. WOW, that looks great! Cooking a healthy greens side dish *that isn’t boring* is a huge challenge for me, so thank you for sharing this one!

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