Escarole can be found in the produce section of most supermarkets. The entire head (minus the stem) is delicious in soups. The tender pale green inner leaves also make a delicious salad.
12ouncesGreat Northern beans, picked over
8 large clovesgarlic, minced
½ smallheadgreen cabbage, chopped
1cup chopped parsley
½teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
10leaves fresh basil, chopped or ½teaspoondried basil
½cup plus 1tablespoonolive oil
2 medium potatoes, diced
2 large headsescarole, chopped
Salt, to taste
Bring the water to a boil in a large covered pot. Add the beans, garlic, cabbage, parsley, fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, basil, and olive oil. Return to a boil, then lower the heat to medium and cook, uncovered, for 1½ hours, stirring every 5-10 minutes.
Add the potatoes, pepper, escarole and salt. Continue cooking over medium-low heat for 1 hour, stirring frequently, until the beans are soft and the broth is creamy. Taste for seasoning.