IN SEASON - June, October
Escarole is a variety of endive whose leaves are broader, paler and less bitter than other members of the endive family. Like radicchio, kale and chard, escarole is a hearty green that thrives late into the growing season. The heart of an escarole head is less bitter because the leaves haven't gotten as much sunlight. High in folic acid, fiber, and vitamins A and K, escarole can be eaten raw or gently cooked.
Do not store greens in paper bags. Store unwashed with a dampened paper towel in a perforated plastic bag and refrigerate. By changing the towel occasionally and keeping it damp, you’ll be able to store the greens for up to a week. Freezing: Greens freeze well. Wash, then blanch for 3 minutes, drain and plunge into ice water. Chill for two minutes; drain. Pack in freezer containers or bags. Use within 6 months.
Escarole has crisp leaves with a rather sharp, bitter taste, and should be mixed with other greens when used in salads. The inner leaves are more tender and less bitter. Escarole pairs well in salads with fruit (pears, apples, figs, etc), and strong flavored cheeses.