Sautéed Escarole with Smoked Ham and Caramelized Shallots

This warm, rich salad is the perfect addition to a wintertime meal.

by Dani Yokhna
Sauteed Escarole with Smoked Ham and Carmelized Shallots. Photo by Rachael Brugger (
Photo by Rachael Brugger

Yield: 5 to 6 side-dish servings


  • 5 T. olive oil, divided
  • 6 ounces shallots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 T. plus 2 tsp. pure maple syrup, divided
  • 3/4 pound escarole leaves, trimmed, washed and patted dry
  • 1½ T. finely chopped garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. coarsely ground salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces smoked ham, diced in 1/4-inch cubes
  • 3 T. white wine vinegar
  • 1 T. balsamic vinegar

In heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add sliced shallots and stir with wooden spoon to coat, separating slices into rings. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon maple syrup. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring every minute or so, until shallots are well-caramelized and soft. (Do not crisp.)

Meanwhile, stack escarole leaves and cut across short side into 1-inch strips. In large skillet over low heat, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly to keep garlic from browning. Add escarole, stir to coat in oil and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and increase heat to medium. Stirring frequently, sauté for 15 minutes or until white parts are cooked through and beginning to char in places. (Cooking time will vary depending on size and age of leaves.)

Stir shallots and ham into escarole. In separate bowl, whisk together vinegars, 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 teaspoons maple syrup. Pour over escarole mixture, stir to coat, and heat through. Serve piping hot.


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