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Sautéed escarole in a large skillet.

Simple Sautéed Greens


Use this recipe as a guide. Other greens such as kale, Swiss chard, and spinach can be substituted for the escarole. With kale and Swiss chard, remove the stems. Swiss chard stems can be finely sliced and sautéed with the garlic. 


  • 1 head escarole, 1.25-1.5 lbs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • kosher salt to taste


  1. Cut off the end of the escarole and discard or compost. Roughly chop the escarole. If it’s dirty, place it in a large bowl, cover with cold water, and let it sit for 10 minutes to allow the dirt to settle. Scoop out the escarole and transfer to a large towel or a colander to drain. The escarole does not have to be completely dry. 
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, place the oil, garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook for about a minute or until the garlic is sizzling. At the first sign of the garlic starting to color, add the greens, turn the heat to medium-high, and season with a pinch of salt. Use tongs to rearrange the greens in the skillet and to help them wilt down. In 1-2 minutes, the escarole will be done.
  3. Remove the skillet from the heat. Let the greens cool briefly. Taste for salt and adjust as needed. 
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American, Italian

Keywords: escarole, greens, quick, sauté