On top of pizza, tossed with a pound of pasta, or eaten as a side dish this escarole recipe is as versatile as they come. Cooking the escarole mellows the flavor, making it less bitter, and a couple of anchovies added in the very beginning add a richness that is not at all fishy.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons best-quality salt-cured anchovies
- 3 tablespoons chopped black olives such as Gaeta or Nicoise
- 1 tablespoon small capers, well rinsed
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (to taste)
- 1 bunch fresh escarole, sliced 3/4-inch crosswise and washed, with water still clinging to the leaves (about 8 cups)
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 Basic Pizza Dough, divided into 6 pieces
- 1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the anchovies and cook, stirring, until they dissolve into a paste, 30 to 60 seconds. Stir in the olives, capers and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until the flavors are well combined, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the escarole to the pan, little by little as the leaves will quickly wilt and make room for more. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until tender, 5 to 8 minutes.
- To prepare the pizza, by lightly brushing the entire pie with olive oil. Leaving a Â½-inch border of dough around the edge of the pie, spread a thin layer of the escarole and grated Parmesan cheese over the dough and bake.