Sauteed Escarole with Toasted Pearl Couscous and Poached Eggs
(Adapted From Sunset magazine)
The dish, nearly completed -- just awaiting the poached eggs.
I ran across this marvelous recipe in the January issue of Sunset magazine, and just had to share it. (My compliments to its creator, Chef Ethan Stowell at Staple & Fancy Mercantile in Seattle.) Truth be told, I do not think I had ever eaten escarole before. Now, I am HOOKED. I am also hooked on pearl couscous, which is a shame, because it's a little on the pricey side. It looks sporty as all get-out, though, especially if you get the tri-colored variety. I apologize for not having a good picture of the final plated product. My family unanimously loved it!
1 cup pearl couscous
About 5 tbsp. EVOO, divided
About 3/4 tsp salt, divided
1/2 tsp. crushed garlic
2 large heads escarole, stem ends trimmed, leaves rinsed and drained.
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
About 1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
4 large eggs
About 1/2 cup finely-grated parmesan cheese
Toast the couscous in 1 T. oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mostly golden, 7 to 8 minutes. Add 1/4 tsp. salt and 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until barely tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain.
Cook garlic in remaining 1/4 cup oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until softened but still pale, 2 to 3 minutes. Add escarole and cook until it begins to wilt, 2 to 3 minutes. Add couscous and stir to coat, then add broth and 1/2 tsp. pepper and cook 2 to 3 minutes more. Season with about 1/4 tsp. salt and pepper to taste and keep warm.
Fill saucepan used for couscous 3/4 full of water, add vinegar, and cook over high heat until bubbles barely break the surface. Reduce heat to medium-low. Crack eggs into water and give water a gentle stir to ensure eggs aren't sticking to pan. Cook 3 minutes for runny yolks. With a slotted spoon, transfer eggs to paper towels. Sprinkle with about 1/4 tsp. salt and pepper to taste.
Divide escarole mixture among 4 soup plates and set an egg on each. Drizzle with more oil and sprinkle with parmesan.