For this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge, the chefs of Food Network Kitchen chose to feature the basket ingredient escarole. Most often used in Italian cooking, escarole is a slightly bitter lettuce that you’ll commonly see in soups and sometimes salads. But there’s more to this leafy green than meets the eye. A quick saute in some oil and garlic turns it into a simple side dish, but using it in these Escarole Quesadillas along with cheese transforms it into main dish territory. Try making them for your family the next time you have Tex-Mex night at home.
First, you’ll want to tear the escarole into pieces. Next, heat a bit of oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic, then the escarole, a handful at a time. Cook until all the greens are wilted. Let the liquid in the pan evaporate and then add the hot sauce.
Next, place your four tortillas on a clean work surface. Layer with cheese, escarole, then more cheese and top with four more tortillas. Wipe out the skillet and heat a bit of oil. Cook the quesadillas, covered, until the bottoms are golden, and do the same for the other sides.
Use the remaining escarole to make a quick salad by shredding it and combining it with beans, tomatoes, lime juice, cumin and a bit of oil. Cut the quesadillas into wedges and serve alongside the salad.
Get the Recipe: Escarole Quesadillas
The Chopped Dinner Challenge is a series of recipes showing you how easy it is to cook like a winning Chopped competitor. Every week, FN Dish will showcase a recipe created by Food Network Kitchen that uses at least one of the Chopped basket ingredients, plus basic grocery goods and simple staples. Consider it your very own Chopped challenge. Just take this frequent tip from the judges: Don’t forget to season!