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Wilted Escarole & Garlic-fried Garbanzo Beans Recipe

Ingredients:

 Rice Bran Oil or Pure Olive Oil as needed for frying

8 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced about 1/8 inch think (1/4 cup)

 Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 cups canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas) - well drained and patted dry (or 1 cup dried garbanzos - see below)

 2 heads escarole (about 2-1/2 pounds), cored and roughly chopped

 1/2 lemon plus lemon wedges for garnish

Directions:

Note: You can fry the garbanzos and the garlic early in the day and keep them at room temperature. When you are ready to serve, heat the garbanzos in a 400-degree oven until hot - about 5 minutes. The garlic can be served at room temperature.

1. Preheat oven to 200-degrees.

To fry the garlic, fill a heavy saucepan with oil to a depth of about 1 inch. Heat the oil to 325 degrees, checking the temperature on a deep-frying thermometer. Add the sliced garlic to the oil and scoop it out with a skimmer or slotted spoon as soon as it starts to turn golden, after about 10 seconds. Drain the garlic on a paper towel and leave at room temperature. Season the garlic with salt and pepper.

2. Start adding the garbanzos to the oil, a small handful at a time, and fry until golden and crusty - 2 to 3 minutes. (If you add too many garbanzos at once, they will lower the temperature of the oil and they won't fry properly.) As you are frying, keep checking the temperature of the oil with a deep-frying thermometer and adjust the heat as necessary to keep it between 325 and 350 degrees. Using a skimmer or slotted spoon, scoop the garbanzos out as they are done and rain on paper towels. Season the fried garbanzos with salt and pepper, transfer them to a baking sheet, and keep them warm in the preheated oven.

3. Remove the pan of oil from the heat and set it aside.


To wilt the escarole, put about 3 tablespoons of the reserved frying oil in a large deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add as much escarole as will comfortably fit into your pan and toss with tongs until wilted. Then start adding the remaining escarole a handful at a time and keep tossing until all the escarole is wilted. Reduce the heat to medium, cover the pan, and cook for a few minutes more, until the escarole is tender, 8 to 10 minutes all together. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Arrange the escarole on a platter and squeeze the 1/2 lemon over it. Scatter the fried garbanzos over the surface of the escarole and scatter the fried garlic on top. Garnish the platter with lemon wedges.

Note: You can cook dried garbanzo beans for the recipe or use canned beans, drained well and patted dry with paper towels. To cook dried garbanzos, cover them with cold water and soak overnight. Drain the soaked beans, cover them with plenty of cold water, and cook them for an hour or more until tender. Drain well. One cup of raw, dried garbanzos yields a little more than 2 cups of cooked beans.

Makes 6 to 8 servings
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