Dear Ask A Foodie:
I found a Lentil and Escarole Soup recipe that looks delicious, but I haven’t be able to find escarole. What might I be able to substitute? I haven’t found it in a farmers market either. — Marcia L.
Dear Marcia L.
This recipe looks wonderful, and there are some other greens you can use for escarole. Escarole is a type of chicory, related to curly endive. It is sometimes referred to as broad-leaved endive. This vegetable can be used as a salad green or, as your recipe indicates, cut up and used in a soup dish or with other cooked vegetables.
Other greens that could substitute for this recipe could be beet greens or Swiss chard. You could also try romaine lettuce. Or, if you like kale or other types of greens give them a try, too. I find the flavor of escarole to be mild with a touch of bitterness.
The photo on the right is of a green we picked up in Whole Foods on Sunday that was labeled as organic escarole.
Quarry Farmers and Ranchers Market’s vendor at 9-1 Farm, Fernando Vasquez, said he might be selling a little escarole in the next week or two before the weather warms up.
For a recipe for Lentils and Escarole Soup with Lamb Meatballs, click here.
Photographs by Bonnie Walker