To me, there could be no better antidote to two weeks of overeating, than a big old bowl of escarole and beans. Not only will a bowl of escarole and beans make you feel virtuous about your diet, but it just may give your immune system a boost.
Escarole is at its peak from December to April. And as are all leafy green vegetables, it is low in calories and high in dietary fiber and antioxidants. Not to mention the fact that a steaming bowl of fragrant greens and beans is filling and delicious.
Chances are you have most of the ingredients in your pantry right now. All you need to do is get to the market and pick up a couple of heads of fresh escarole and start chopping.
I used two heads of escarole, about 1 1/2 pounds, for dinner tonight. You will need to wash the escarole leaves under running water and drain them. Slice leaves into 1-inch strips, removing thick stems if necessary.
Heat some olive oil with some crushed garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Saute about 1 minute. Then add the greens by handfuls, stirring until they start to wilt before adding more. It will look like a mountain of greens, but don't worry, they will cook down quickly. Stir until all are coated with oil.
Add about a cup of low-sodium chicken broth or water--depending on how much escarole you are cooking--and cook until greens are tender. You may add a potato, cut up, with the broth if you wish. Add one 15-ounce can of cannellini beans which have been drained and rinsed, and simmer until beans are heated through. Make sure to season with salt and pepper and enjoy.