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Escarole Cheese Packets

Escarole Cheese Packets

I don’t buy escarole at the supermarket–I wait for it to show up in Ranui Gardens CSA weekly box. When the CSA vegetable is something I don’t always cook with, I consult my vegetable “bible”, a big book with 500 recipes and 275 photos, Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini: The Essential Reference, by Elizabeth Schneider.

Each vegetable entry has a complete description of the food, its Latin and common names, how to store and use, as well as a photo or two. Recipes are offered two ways, some with an ingredient list and numbered steps, and others that are ideas suggested by professional chefs, under the heading “Pros Propose.”

Escarole cheese packets

Escarole packets

This is my interpretation of an idea for cheese wrapped in wilted escarole leaves from the Pros Propose list.

The pro in this case was Charles Saunders, who at one time was food and beverage director for resort hotels. He proposed a tomato and olive oil and balsamic vinegar sauce to go with the escarole cheese packets.

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Escarole cheese packets
Escarole Cheese Packets
Author: Letty Flatt
  • Escarole leaves
  • Mozzarella cheese , or other soft white cheese
  • Olive oil , as needed
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • ¼ cup chopped onions
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 sun-dried tomatoes ,optional
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  1. Blanch large, fairly flat escarole leaves in boiling salted water, just until wilted, about 3 seconds. Gently tap the heavy bases to flatten and soften fibers.
  2. Wrap, eggroll-style, around soft white cheese, such as fresh mozzarella. Brush with oil.
  3. Pre-heat the grill.
  4. In a blender, puree the diced tomatoes with the onions and garlic, and sun-dried tomatoes, if using.
  5. Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet. Pour the tomato puree into the oil and cook and stir for about 3 minutes. Season with the balsamic vinegar and salt to taste. Set aside.
  6. Grill the escarole cheese packets jut to warm them and melt the cheese a bit.
  7. Serve with the tomato sauce.

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