Italian Escarole & Beans

Friday, February 19, 2010
Greens and Beans, is Escarole and white beans. An Italian dish made often during the depression days. Grandma called it depression food, inexpensive and fed many family members! Sometimes she fed the whole block, no kidding! Inexpensive and absolutely delicious. Today it's considered a delicacy in most restaurants. 

Pronounced ( Scadahl) and Beans Escarole and Beans, ( Zuppa Di Scarola E Fagioli )

Poured over bread, the oil and garlic soaked up the bread and this was a delicious Italian Specialty!

This could be thick, or like soup. Just beans, over bread, or both. 

Grandma was from Rome,Italy and made a thick style escarole greens and beans over crusty Italian bread, just omitting the broth.

 Mom came from Bari, made this like a soup rich with chicken broth and my Dad's mom came from Rome and they liked this plain garlic seasoned. 

Then pouring the escarole and beans over hard crusty bread, normally hard as a rock bread and stale!

So we had our fill of this many ways. I love every kinds of beans, greens plain but for me what made it a meal was the bread.

I am a bread lover and that's my weakness, I very seldom eat a meal without dipping bread into the soup, sauce and yes I am a dipper.

Not much to adapting these recipe to pretty basic, easy and filling. 

Can you believe this was considered depression food back then?


Mom liked to make it into soup also and add chicken broth on cold days

This is a staple growing up in an all Italian Household. Escarole and beans. This was considered a depression food because of the inexpensive ingredients.

 It's easy to make and the best part is its good for you. Full of proteins with the beans and rich greens.

 This is served over stale bread and soaks the oil and juices of this delicious garlic infused oil into the bread. the perfect meal and everyone loves it

Escarole is one of my favorite greens in many great recipes and one favorite of our is Traditional Wedding Soup and it's wonderful flavors .

Escarole and Beans

inDried beans done overnight in the crock pot, a huge difference in taste these are northern white beans.

Escarole and Beans Recipe:

1- 8 oz can of chicken broth or 1 cup fresh or more if it drys out
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (first cold pressed) more to drizzle on top when serving
2 large heads escarole
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon of each oregano, basil, parsley, we used all fresh ingredients when possible
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 cloves minced garlic
2 lbs of fresh cannellini or cooked dried northern beans   highly recommended or 2 (16 ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained
plenty of pecorino romano cheese
If using fresh beans reserve 1/2 of the bean water
3 sprigs fresh parsley, chopped,
pinch of cayenne pepper

Boil escarole separately until tender about 35 minutes, drain.( Or take a shortcut if you work, do dried beans with water in one crock pot on high for 8 hours all day or overnight and escarole in the another crock pot filled with water and when you get home from work,  saute in oil and garlic to taste, add a little broth, heat through add the seasonings and pour over hard crusty Italian bread!!! simple.)

For canned beans method. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat saute garlic till brown, add boiled escarole and coat with oil and fresh cloves of garlic for flavor.  Add  some of the broth. Season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes and other seasonings. Stir in cooked beans, at this point.

Heat thoroughly and serve over bread.

For soup style shown, add 16 oz can of  Chicken broth, you can also add boiled chicken and ditalini to make a hearty meal out of this. Boil until mixture gets thicker and looks creamy. Serve with plenty of grated cheese on top and thick chunks of crusty bread and a few drizzles of olive oil.
Created using The Recipes Generator


  1. I love escarole too, I make chicken escarole enchiladas! Your soup looks delicious ;]

  2. this is so much to my liking - I make something very similar, never thought of it as being from the past, I add slices of sausage to it and serve it over hard bread...I have cooked beans overnight in a slow cooker but like soaking them for 24 hours, makes them creamier without becoming I doing something wrong?

  3. @bcgw thanks one of our fav's
    @drick I doubt your doing anything wrong, never had them get mushy and I freeze my beans after they come out of the crock since there are so many..Maybe its too long, over 8 hours is enough and I never soak first. Thanks Drick.

  4. Escarole & beans sound so good on a crusty bread and I love the soup too! Definitely a must try!

  5. I love escarole and beans. Their mix on a crusty bread is very very good. Bye bye

  6. @5starfoodie thanks, very tasty :)
    @federica thanks, I visited your site, was looking for an English translator..couldnt find it but very lovely pictures love the foods you post :)

  7. Thank you for your visit to my blog, dear! If you need a translator, you can click on one of the flag you find at the top right ^_^
    Bye bye, I hope see you soon :)

  8. The escarole and bean combination with some crusty Italian bread really looks and sounds great.

  9. WOW Claudia, this looks superb! My mom used to make it the same as yours. I haven't made this in forever, shame on me! I prefer cannelloni beans but have used the northern beans too. Sometimes my mom added chunks of peperoni to this.... Yummy

  10. I did an escarole and chickpea soup last night. It is the most fabulous combination!Yours looks perfect! Perfectly scrumptious.

  11. Now you're talking! I usually make this as a soup, but occasionally make it with pasta and once made it with shrimp. Like you, I adore bread (and it loves my hips, so don't get it often enough).

  12. You are TOTALLY speaking my language here! Beans + greens = heaven, I can't get enough. I want this for dinner.

  13. I love this - soup style! It's one of my favorites and you sure worked up a good craving in me now! Delicious!

  14.! This is such delicious bite.

  15. Claudia, I think I would really enjoy dinner at your place :D Good thing we're on different continents or you'd never get rid of me!

  16. That's my kind of dish! beans and escarole, love it! Beautiful combo, well depression brought some healthy and hearty dishes!

  17. I have never eaten escarole. I am not much of a greens kinda gal but this looks really good to me for some reason. Maybe you should make it, freeze it and ship it my way. ;)

  18. Beans and greens--always one of my favorite classic family style Italian dishes!

  19. Beans and greens--always one of my favorite classic family style Italian dishes!

  20. Looks delicious. I love beans especially if it's creamy.

  21. How did I miss this, hmmm? It's exactly the sort of thing I love!!!

  22. My grandmother (from Italy) also made this, the thicker version, but she added big chunks of Pepperoni. I loved it! Thanks for the memories, I'm gonna make a batch this weekend.

  23. My grandmother (from Italy) used to make us this, the thicker version, but she added big chunks of pepperoni. Yum! Thanks for bringing up some fond memories. I'm gonna make a batch this weekend.

  24. Tried this today absolutely delicious, I was hoping to find a recipe that came close to the escarole dish from a gourmet Italian restaurant in town, this is it! I loved every spoonful. Thank you for sharing.

  25. thanks for the kind words @MissCelticGirl

  26. Love the family history of this delicious dish---I'd love this with a crusty loaf of bread!


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