Escarole with Wild Rice & Currants

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Escarole with Wild Rice & Currants
Serves 10
A crisp, broadleaf type of endive most often served as a salad green that is also known as escarole, broad chicory, or common chicory. This member of the chicory family has broad outer leaves with a crinkled shape. The leaves provide a slightly bitter taste, yet not as bitter as Belgian or curly endive. As the outer leaves are removed, the inner leaves display a paler green coloring with more white and a taste less bitter than the outer leaves. Escarole is popular as a salad green, eaten raw with mayonnaise or a vinaigrette dressing. When cooked, the greens are often served as a vegetable steamed or braised and can be added to soups for flavoring in the later stages of soup making.
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  1. 3 qts. Chicken Stock, Broth or Water
  2. 2 1/2 cups Wild Rice
  3. 1/4 cup Dried Currants
  4. 1/4 cup Hot Water
  5. 2 heads Escarole, cored, leaves separated
  6. 4 Shallots, thinly sliced
  7. 2 cloves Garlic, thinly sliced
  8. 1 Tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
  9. 1/2 tsp. Lemon Zest, finely grated
  10. To Taste - Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  11. To Taste - Salt, Kosher or Sea
  1. In a large saucepan, bring Chicken Stock or water to a boil.
  2. Add the wild rice and simmer until tender, about 30 minutes.
  3. Drain the rice but do not rinse.
  4. In a bowl, soak the currants in the hot water for 10 minutes. Drain.
  5. In a pot of boiling salted water, cook the escarole leaves until tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and let cool.
  6. Squeeze the escarole dry and coarsely chop it.
  7. Heat the olive oil in a large enameled cast-iron casserole.
  8. Add the shallots and cook over low heat until softened, about 5 minutes.
  9. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  10. Add the escarole and currants and cook over moderate heat, stirring for 2 minutes.
  11. Add the wild rice and cook until warmed through.
  12. Stir in the lemon juice and zest and season with salt and pepper.
  13. Serve hot.
Nino Salvaggio