Utica Greens

By Marnie Mead
January 21, 2014
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Author Notes: This is so good, I dream about making it next. It is named for the region of upstate New York, where it can be ordered pretty much everywhere. I had never heard of it until a friend visited and asked me to make it. I searched for recipes, since his only description was that it had escarole and it was really good. I was further able to determine it had no beans, then he remembered the name "Utica Greens." I found this recipe from feelingfoodish.com and made some adaptations - namely pickled hot peppers (homemade banana peppers or Hungarian if you have them) instead of the red cherry peppers, homemade breadcrumbs that haven't been seasoned, and packaged chopped escarole, and I reduced the cooking time recommended. I've eliminated the chicken broth from the recipe, because I found I didn't need it with the fresh breadcrumbs and the type of escarole (from Wegmans). Marnie Mead

Serves: 4 (side dish); 2 main

  • 1 packet escarole, chopped, fresh (15 ounces)
  • 4 tablespoons butter, unsalted
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup sliced, hot pickled peppers (Hungarian or banana peppers), chopped
  • 1/3 pint prosciutto, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup Pecorino-Romano cheese, freshly grated
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  1. Bring 5-quart stock pot filled with 1 tablespoon sea-salted water to a boil. Add escarole and cook until tender (about 1-2 minutes if using Wegmans chopped escarole; about 5 minutes if yours is tougher). Drain.
  2. Reserve about 2 tablespoons each of breadcrumbs and cheese for topping.
  3. Mix remaining breadcrumbs with cheese, oregano and pepper.
  4. In a large ovenproof saute pan, heat butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add cooked greens to pan and stir to combine. Mix in chopped peppers, prosciutto, breadcrumbs/cheese mixture.
  5. Top with remaining breadcrumbs and cheese.
  6. Heat oven to broil.
  7. Place casserole under broiler for 4 to 6 minutes until brown, checking frequently. Remove from oven and allow to rest about 15 minutes before serving.

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