It is no secret that I love to cook and I love people who love to cook. A wonderful old friend, John McDonald shares his version of the traditional Utica Greens recipe. I find that everyone does it differently and I love to hear the variations that people use.
John and his lovely wife Beverly along with their son JT have spent a few Christmas Eves at my house and this past year created and freshly delivered Utica Greens which went from his hands to one of Chip’s home made pizzas. The recipe below is in John’s words as my guest blogger tonight. Enjoy!
What you need:
- one large head of escarole
- 3 T olive oil
- 4 slices of prosciutto, diced
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 5 hot pickled cherry peppers, chopped
- 1 cup of chicken broth
- ⅓ c. bread crumbs
- ¼ c. Romano cheese, grated
What to do:
- Clean & wash well the escarole, then boil the escarole until softened, then drain well, and squeeze out any remaining water with your hands.
- With the escarole, you’re chopping it up before you boil, (you don’t want to have big long stringy strands).
- When you put it in the lightly salted pot of boiling water, your cooking the greens for about 5-6 minutes until they’re softened.
- Use less cherry peppers (cherry peppers in oil or water, not in vinegar), if you don’t want as spicy.
- Also can add or substitute roasted sweet red peppers for color and taste, especially for those who don’t like spicy! As you know, I made both types. (he did and it was spectacular)
- Mix ingredients and sprinkle bread crumbs on top after placing mixed ingredients in deep baking/foil pan.
- Oh and also sprinkle with grated cheese
- Preheat oven to 350°, and cover lightly with foil for first 25 minutes, then uncover for last 10 minutes or so until heated and light browning on top of Utica Greens
- Serve with fresh sliced Italian Bread, or place on top of your world-class pizzas!!
Note from the chef:
Forgot to say that I also do an alternate process and I put the greens into a frying pan, with a little olive oil with the chopped or minced garlic, and lightly sauté them, adding the cherry peppers…., and finally adding the prosciutto towards the end. After just a few minutes, gradually add the bread crumbs and grated cheese, tossing gently until blended. Then you add some additional bread crumbs and grated parmesan cheese to the top of the mixture after placing in baking/foil pan (or if you have a proper oven proof frying pan, you can place it into the oven that way too. Broil for 2-3 minutes on high until lightly browned and crisped on top. No matter which way you make them, they’ll be yummy!!
And they were! thank you John. Anyone else up for a guest blogger spot?