To submit requests for assistance, or provide feedback regarding accessibility, please contact


How to Use Escarole: 3 Ways to Cook With Escarole

Written by MasterClass

Last updated: May 27, 2020 • 2 min read

Escarole is a variety of endive that goes by many names: broad-leaved endive, Bavarian endive, and Batavian endive. While escarole may look like a very enthusiastic head of romaine lettuce, there’s a lot of complexity hiding in its loosely curled leaves.



Thomas Keller Teaches Cooking TechniquesThomas Keller Teaches Cooking Techniques

Learn techniques for cooking vegetables and eggs and making pastas from scratch from the award-winning chef and proprietor of The French Laundry.

Learn More

What Is Escarole?

Escarole is a member of the chicory family, a group of bitter leafy vegetables that includes radicchio, frisée (curly endive), and the Belgian endive. Escarole has a slightly less bitter taste than its fellow chicories.

What Does Escarole Taste Like?

Escarole’s dark green outer leaves are tough, with a pronounced bitterness that’s a great addition to soups, stews, sautés, or wilted into pasta. The inner leaves of escarole are mild, with a tender, palatable texture—good for adding into mixed green salads or sandwiches.

3 Ways to Use Escarole

Escarole’s broad leaves and mild, peppery flavor make it a popular ingredient to serve both raw and cooked.

  1. In a salad. Thanks to its light bitterness, raw escarole pairs especially well with stronger, more assertive flavors, like ripe, jammy fruit, funky aged cheeses, poached eggs, and zingy vinaigrettes made with pan drippings—or even just a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of flaky salt.
  2. As a side dish. Escarole sautéed in extra-virgin olive oil with thinly-sliced garlic cloves and red pepper flakes is a versatile side dish that keeps well in the fridge.
  3. Add to soup. Italian wedding soup, minestra maritata, is a white bean soup made creamy cannellini beans, spiced Italian sausage, and whatever sturdy greens are on hand—escarole, with its mellow, earthy kick, makes a great addition to this soup.
Thomas Keller Teaches Cooking Techniques
Alice Waters Teaches The Art of Home Cooking
Wolfgang Puck Teaches Cooking
Gordon Ramsay Teaches Cooking I

4 Substitutes for Escarole

Choose an escarole substitute that shares its signature bitter flavor and can maintain its structure in the cooking process, if you plan to sauté or braise it.

  1. Broccoli rabe: Broccoli rabe (rapini) is a cruciferous vegetable that may be more related to broccoli than to escarole, but it’s tender stems and bitter, tangy leaves make it a close second to the flavors of cooked escarole. Brocolli rabe comes with small flower buds attached, which will add more texture and dimension to your finished dish.
  2. Swiss chard and kale: While Swiss chard and kale are considerably less bitter and bright-tasting than escarole, these dark leafy greens are a prime choice for adding to soups, stews, and pasta. The vitamin-packed greens wilt well, without losing their structure, and absorb flavors wonderfully.
  3. Radicchio: Escarole’s magenta-leaved cousin is a good substitute for preparations where you’d use raw escarole, like salads and sandwiches.
  4. Mustard greens and dandelion greens: These greens can bring more pungency and bitterness to any dish than escarole. Pair mustard and dandelion greens with ingredients that can temper their strong flavors, like rice or beans.


Suggested for You

Online classes taught by the world’s greatest minds. Extend your knowledge in these categories.

Thomas Keller

Teaches Cooking Techniques I: Vegetables, Pasta, and Eggs

Learn More
Alice Waters

Teaches the Art of Home Cooking

Learn More
Wolfgang Puck

Teaches Cooking

Learn More
Gordon Ramsay

Teaches Cooking I

Learn More

Want to Learn More About Cooking?

Become a better chef with the MasterClass All-Access Pass. Gain access to exclusive video lessons taught by culinary masters, including Gabriela Cámara, Chef Thomas Keller, Massimo Bottura, Dominique Ansel, Gordon Ramsay, Alice Waters, and more.