Bacon Crisp Over Sauteed Escarole
I don’t always say that the best way to enjoy your greens is if it is accompanied with something else, but in this case, yes! All the way with bacon. I am not telling you anything you don’t already know about the power of bacon, but bacon with anything tastes a million times better. And bacon and escarole must have been born as twins.
For some odd reason, I am not entirely sure if I want to admit that bacon is a form of meat, although it is derived from the belly of pigs. It is more like a topping, like croutons for a salad, or rather a flavor enhancer for a perfect bolognese sauce. And a gift of high-intensity protein to a vegetarian’s diet. It seems surreal with its ever-mysterious, sweet, salty, and smoky taste.
Yesterday, I sautéed escarole with slivers of bacon. To a heated pan, I tossed in some chopped bacon, which I had bought from the green market. Within minutes, the bacon began to render its own fat, and amidst the bubbling oil, streaks of brown bits graced the bottom of the pan. Once the bacon began to crisp, I removed it from the oil and set it on a paper towel. And you know, bacon has the effect of making you want to eat more and more of it, which is what I did. The task of holding back from putting those cubes of crisp pork love between my teeth was extremely difficult.
Save the bacon fat for another use. I poured in some olive oil and deglazed the pan with white wine to merge the impressions left by the bacon. Finally, I tossed in a dismantled head of escarole. I left it alone in the pan and later mixed in the fried bacon.
Between the greens and the cubed rectangles of pig meat lies the magic of an affair never to forget. Sweet, salty, slightly bitter-whats not to like about your greens?
Serves 4 as a side dish
4 strips of thick cut bacon (or more), diced
1/4 cup of dry white wine
1 head of escarole, washed and cleaned. Ends chopped off
1 clove of garlic sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
1) Bring a large pan to heat and toss in the bacon.
2) Let the bacon cook in its own fat for about 5 minutes or until crisp and golden brown.
3) Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and spread on paper towels on a sheet tray.
4) Reserve the bacon fat for another use.
5) Pour in two tablespoons of olive oil.
6) Deglaze the pan with white wine. Let the wine almost completely evaporate.
7) Toss in the escarole leaves. The escarole will shrink. Using tongs, coat the leaves with the oil and let it cook for about 5-7 minutes.
8) Mix in the garlic and toss well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
9) Remove and set in a serving dish.
10) Top with the crisp bacon or mix it in.