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October 19, 2012

Escarole

Yes, we’ve had a heavy frost in my neck of the woods. But a quick trip to the garden this morning proves that there is a lot out there still thriving. All the brassicas, of course, some cherry tomatoes are hanging on, quite literally. And my brussel sprouts may be big enough to eat by Thanksgiving.

2012-10-19_13-07-57_174
image and recipe courtesy of Laura Cabot, Laura Cabot Catering, Waldoboro

My broad leaved escarole is looking and probably tasting better than ever! A good hard frost tends to sweeten up many vegetables. Is there a metaphor there for life and learning?

There was a time when the endives confused me. Radicchio, Puntarelle, Belgian endive, Frisee…how were they different and how to use them in all their bitter glory? Many of this genus is at home in a beautifully dressed salad.

But my favorite late season treat is the broad leaved variety simply cleaned, chopped, and simmered for a half hour or so in strong homemade chicken stock. Seasoned with salt and freshly ground pepper, it is a supremely comforting light supper for a chilly day. Full of vitamins and fiber, too. So easy, I am not sure that I can call it a recipe.

Simply spectacular!

Laura Cabot is an MF&L columnist and blogger, a French trained chef with a long career as a chef/restaurant owner, and president of Laura Cabot Catering in Waldoboro.

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