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Farmhouse Chef Jamie’s Escarole with Lentils and Italian Sausage Recipe

This is another rustic Italian dish. It’s easy, and it feeds a crowd. In Italy, you’re more likely to see this dish with big white beans. I like using lentils because they make a better jus to sop, but you can use any bean you’d like. You can even substitute canned beans if you’re in a pinch. If you do that, you’ll want to add a little more flavor by adding some wine or broth to the last steps. The simple lentil recipe below can also be used as a stand-alone dish. Garnish it with crème fraiche and chopped chives, and you have a whole new dish!

For lentils:
1 cup dry lentils
3 cups chicken broth
Salt and pepper

Place the lentils in a medium sized pot. Pour in the chicken broth, and season with a dash of salt and pepper. Bring the lentils to a boil, cover the pot tightly, and reduce the heat. Simmer until the lentils are tender — 15-20 minutes. Remove from the heat. Drain most of the juices away, and reserve the lentils (Leave just enough juice so the lentils don’t dry out.)

For sausage and escarole:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound Italian sausage
1 large onion roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 head escarole, stems removed and roughly chopped
Salt and pepper
1//2 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated

Heat the oil in a large skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Add the sausage, and cook until browned and cooked through — about 10 minutes.

Transfer the cooked sausage to a cutting board, and let it rest at least 5 minutes before slicing into disks.

Add the onions to the pan, and cook over medium heat until they are soft and translucent. Add the garlic, and cook 1 more minute. Add the cooked lentils, escarole, salt, and pepper, and cook until the escarole wilts — about 3-5 minutes. Add the sausage back to the pan a stir everything around to incorporate.

Remove from the heat, garnish with shredded Parmesan cheese, and serve over fresh pasta or with crusty bread for sopping.