I first tasted escarole (also called curly endive) when I was backpacking around Italy in the late ’80s and stayed with a family in Campania; my hostess showed me how to cook it with pine nuts and raisins. In Naples it’s often cooked with garlic, anchovies, capers and olives as a filling for a pie called pizza di scarola; I like it as a simple escarole frittata. Escarole is often sold in bunches of 2 heads, which is enough for this dish; separate the small pale leaves for a salad (such as the salade Lyonnaise in the below video) and wash them all thoroughly as they’re usually quite gritty. Frittata is a close cousin to Spanish tortilla, so with this dish I was inspired to try Bodegas Cota45 UBE de Uberrima Carrascal from Sanlucar de Barrameda. Made from three different types of palomino, it’s basically an unfortified Manzanilla, right down to the dry chalkiness and slight hint of salt – and it’s a great match.
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