1 head rinsed escarole
2-4 tbsp grated cheese (Pecorino Romano or Parmigiana)
1/2 - 1 cup breadcrumbs
12-18 Chopped black olives
1 tbsp Capers (optional)
2-3 tbsp Pine nuts or walnuts
1/4 cup soaked Golden or regular raisins
2 or 3 cloves of sliced fresh garlic
Set a large pot of water to boil.
Set an ovenproof skillet or small Dutch oven (or if you don’t have this, just a small skillet) over medium heat. Toast the pine nuts, dry. Set pine nuts aside. In the same pan, toast the bread crumbs lightly, 2 or 3 minutes. Set aside with the pine nuts.
Lower the heat and add a few tablespoons of olive oil to the same pan. Add the sliced garlic and let it cook one minute, until fragrant, but do not brown. Add the capers and olives. Cook another 30 seconds or so, just to heat everything through and let the flavors meld. Close the flame. Add the pine nuts and breadcrumbs back to the pan and toss to coat. Pour this mixture back into the reserved bowl. Add the cheese and toss to combine. Reserve the oiled pan.
When the water boils, use a pair of tongs to dunk the escarole, headfirst, into the water. Cook one or two minutes. Remove from hot water and dunk in cold water. Set upside down to drain. Gently squeeze excess water.
Preheat oven to 350.
On a large cutting board, trim the tip from the escarole, then cut lengthwise into five or six pieces, if you can manage. You may find that there are not many long, flat leaves, but it’s okay. You can make do. Try to pick a few long leaves and lay them flat to start. Fan a few smaller leaves around them. Put a small scoop – about a tablespoon’s worth – onto the leaves, then roll it up like a burrito. Place it into the reserved pan (or a different, oiled baking dish if you don’t have anything suitable that can also work on the stovetop) seam down. Repeat until you have five or six bundles.
Spoon the remaining stuffing on top of the escarole packages. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake, uncovered, until the top breadcrumbs turn golden.
(recipe adapted from Lidia Bastianich)