escarole with white beans and garlic

Name recognition. That's what gets politicians elected. Which is why TV advertising costs for political campaigns have been rising exponentially these days. And why a son of an ex-President can waltz right into the presidency without any real talent. In this case Judith Barrett rang a bell while bob was cookbook trawling in some local book superstore. (Everything is super-sized these days.) Coauthor of a couple of first rate risotto books in the cooking team library. Once hooked by the name, the winning title Cooking Vegetables the Italian Way punched two of bob's buttons—veggies and Italy—locking in the deal. Book number three. Acquired, browsed, post-it tagged and shelved in the library.

Escarole first impressed us at a local legendary Philly food spot—Dmitri's (the original) in South Philly. No reservations, average one hour waiting time, really small, open kitchen, fabulous simple food, Mediterranean—grilled octopus to die for. We got escarole as a side on our first visit and it permanently registered in our food radar log.  Unfortunately our action threshhold for lots of dishes exceeds our latent desires. Result—almost no home movement on the escarole front.

One supermarket impuse buying pre-dinner trip, after a bit of indecision at the plastic-wrapped dead animal parts cases, bob goes for yellow fin tuna, inspired perhaps by that only once used George Foreman grill Christmas present from the previous year, then moves on for side dishes. Some lingering recently acquired foodmag/cookbook memory links the tuna with escarole and white beans, so bob snags them both. Remembering  post-it tagged escarole and bean recipes in the dr bob food archives, bob goes first to the veggie books and scores a convincing hit on the second try. Judith, and coincidentally stuck in the same page is a cutout newspaper recipe for the same thing.

Shooting for a lemon caper wine demi-glace sauce approach to the tuna (not that we really know what that means), bob assigns the escarole to ani who does a bang up job, jacking up the garlic (Bam!) and ...


1/2 c olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 head escarole, coarsely chopped
4 c cooked white kidney beans (= 2 16-oz cans cannellini)
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
options: 1/2 to 2 t lemon juice, 1/8 t red pepper flakes, 1/4 c water plus 3 T olive oil substituting the 1/2 c olive oil (to lighten up the fat intake)


  1. Sauté the garlic in the olive oil for a minute, then dump in the chopped escarole and cook for 5 minutes until the greens are wilted and tender.
  2. Dump in the beans, mix it up, cook for another 5 minutes to heat the beans.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and your choice of options.
  4. Ready!


  1. After years of success and centuries of customer waiting hours, Dmitri clones a larger, more accessible Dmitri's II and bob and ani finally return. In and out, no waiting time. Still excellent grilled octopus.
escrlwhb.htm: 9-aug-2001 [ what, ME cook? © 1984 dr bobenterprises]