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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
- 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.
- Reserve about 2 tablespoons each of breadcrumbs and cheese for topping.
- Mix remaining breadcrumbs with cheese, oregano and pepper.
- 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.
- Top with remaining breadcrumbs and cheese.
- Heat oven to broil.
- 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.