Italian Utica Greens Recipe

Sunday, August 30, 2020
Italian Utica, New York Greens, was a staple growing up in the 1960s in my home. Mom made them all the time, simple, sauteed in olive oil, freshly minced garlic, salt, and pepper as a side dish.



Later on, in the 1970s, they were on almost all the menus in Utica and surrounding towns for a breakfast side dish with eggs or for dinner.



Then in the 1980's a new way to make them became famous in my hometown by Joe Morelle, who created another style of greens that were amazing and great for a whole meal with his delicious additions.



Greens became more widely known as "Utica Greens," it has become commonplace, in modified versions, in Italian restaurants throughout Central New York, and even migrated to New York City, Las Vegas, and Florida.



My hometown has so many wonderful creations and often referred to as Little Italy for some many ethnic authentic dishes, some famous for just the area like Tomato Pie, Italian Greens, Italian Lemon Ice, Pizza Fritta, Chicken Riggies, Manny's Cheesecake, Oscugnizzo Pizza, Pusties and Rosato Chocolate Cookies.



If you haven't tried greens all different way, pick one here, they're great!



Scroll down to get the several recipes in the printable card below.






These are sauteed escarole greens used as a side dish with steak











this is utica greens from central new york with potatoes sausage ham peppers escarole cheese and bread crumbs on top





The Most Popular Utica Greens Invented by Joe Morelle




This dish was popularized by Joe Morelle in the late 1980s at the Chesterfield Restaurant in Utica, N.Y., where it is on the menu as greens Morelle.



Mr. Morelle being a chef at the Grimaldi's Restaurant (now closed) observed a chef making greens, they were only served as an occasional special.



Then he started at the Chesterfield's in 1988. He then tweaked those greens and put it on the menu as a regular appetizer.



His greens were an immediate hit and became famous quickly.



He later quit the restaurant business to work as a postman. He only made greens by request, in huge trays for weddings, birthdays, and holidays.







sauteed broccoli rabe with garlic in a fry pan








Versions for Greens


  • Plain sauteed in garlic
  • Greens with meat and potatoes
  • Greens with Cheese
  • Greens Morelle






these are greens made with escarole sauteed with sausage, potatoes and peppers with ham and bread crumb topping on top of the stove with garlic and oil






Basic Ingredients to Make Utica Greens Recipe


  • escarole cored and coarsely chopped
  • extra-virgin olive oil plus additional for drizzling
  • garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • dried hot red pepper flakes
  • Italian Flavored Bread Crumbs
  • Pecorino Romano cheese grated





this is just a fresh bunch of greens called escarole in the raw





Tips


  1. Boiling them first is an important step, it kills bacteria, get all the dirt out and bugs and makes them melt in your mouth tender
  2. Do not over brown garlic it should be a golden brown, remove it and add it back later after you flavor the oil
  3. Dressed greens are a version that can be adapted with more or fewer ingredients, IE hot peppers instead of sweet bell and prosciutto along with hot capicola
  4. Greens last around 2 days in the refrigerator when mixed with other ingredients
  5. Escarole boiled can be frozen and used for any of these recipes










Other Additions to Add


  • Italian hot or sweet sausage
  • Italian hot peppers, cherry peppers, assorted colors of pepper
  • Potatoes,
  • Mozzarella melted cheese on top
  • Utica grind red pepper flakes on top or freshly cracked black pepper
  • Drizzled with extra virgin olive oil when greens are just sauteed with Pecorino Romano cheese
  • Hot Capicola
  • Any other kind of ham you prefer
  • Proscuitto
  • For vegetarian add artichokes hearts, fresh spinach leaves, chopped roma tomatoes, broccoli and cauliflower florets steamed





these are greens made with escarole sauteed with sausage, potatoes and peppers with ham and bread crumb topping on top of the stove with garlic and oil







these are greens made with escarole sauteed with sausage, potatoes and peppers with ham and bread crumb topping on top of the stove with garlic and oil










Try Some Other Famous Utica Recipes





Chicken Riggie Fest
Upstate NY Greens
Tomato Pie Upstate NY Style
Italian Lemon Ice
Watermelon Sorbet with Rum 
Pizza Fritte Feast Fried Dough
Pusties
Italian Gravy or Sauce the big debate
Feast Upstate NY Style Sausage and Peppers Sandwich
Upstate NY Apple Pie
Pizza Dough
Cafe Almond Paste Cookie
Cannoli Stuffed French Toast
Zeppole St Joseph's Day
Cannoli Homemade

Sicilian Style Pizza
Upstate ROME New York Great Food Dining 
Meatballs Melted Provolone and Roasted Pepper Sandwich
Italian Rainbow Cookies
Italian Cream Cake








potatoes with escarole sauteed with peppers, garlic and sausage called Utica Greens







Pin for later




pin for later on how to make Utica New York greens from local restaurants copycat recipe







A Delicious Side Dish or Full Meal




A great side dish and so healthy for you! Italian Sauteed Escarole with garlic, extra virgin olive oil, and a little heat! These are so tender, sure to please green lovers!



I make three different versions here is just one of them.


Mom used escarole in soups, with beans, and antipasto style, every time we got a plate of these they were gone in no time! We love greens of all kinds broccoli rabe is another favorite!












Italian Utica Greens Sauteed Escarole Recipe

Italian Utica Greens Sauteed Escarole Recipe

Yield: 6
Author:
Prep time: 10 MCook time: 35 MTotal time: 45 M
These are famous greens made with escarole in the Utican New York area. Many local families make them and on the menus in several restaurants. Greens can be plain and sauteed in garlic or dressed to the nines adding sausage, peppers and potatoes to them. There are many versions here in the recipe card to choose from.

Ingredients:

  • Italian style Greens are famous in Upstate Utica New York and Rome New York areas.
  •  Here are adapted recipes below found in several favorite Restaurants and are copycats of what we have tasted through the years.
  • There are 3 versions below to chose from and easy to make using escarole which was a staple in our home growing up in the 1960s in our Italian home living in East Utica.

Instructions:

  1. First Version
  2. 4 lb escarole (about 4 heads), cored and coarsely chopped
  3. 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus additional for drizzling
  4. 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  5. 1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
  6. Italian Flavored Bread Crumbs
  7. Locatelli cheese grated
  8. Wash escarole in a sinkful of hot water, lift to drain. 
  9. Cook in a heavy pot full of boiling salted water for 30 minutes, drain.
  10. Heat oil in same pot over medium heat, saute garlic and red pepper flakes with oil around 1 minute. 
  11. Add escarole, stirring to coat evenly with oil.
  12.  Place on low heat and saute until tender around 10 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and more red pepper flakes if you love it hot! 
  13. Spoon onto a large platter and drizzle with a good grade extra virgin olive oil, 
  14. Italian flavored bread crumbs, and Locatelli cheese grated or shredded mozzarella.
  15. Second Version
  16. (This version found in most Central NY Utica/Rome areas)
  17. 1 large escarole (or 2 small heads)
  18. 4 slices prosciutto-thin slices, chopped
  19. 2 garlic cloves minced
  20. 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  21. 2 long Italian hot peppers, seeded & julienned
  22. 1/2 cup Italian flavored breadcrumbs
  23. 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese grated cheese
  24. 1/2 cup chicken broth
  25. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper black pepper and the pinch of salt
  26. Follow directions above except saute the garlic, peppers in oil with prosciutto first, add cooked escarole with spices, add broth, top with cheese and breadcrumbs at the end.
  27. Third Version A Version of Greens Morelle
  28. Utica Greens All Dressed Up
  29. (a whole meal in itself!)
  30. Cut and peel 4 potatoes into 1-inch chunks and fry until golden brown and crisp, set aside.
  31. 2 lbs of link Italian sausage cut in small pieces and fried, set aside.
  32. 6 slices of prosciutto, ham, or capicola ( Italian hot ham).
  33. Boil 2 heads of Escarole a little saltwater, slowly in a large pot simmer for 30 minutes.
  34. Drain and do the same procedure above to extract water.
  35. In a large frying pan: add 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil boiled drained greens
  36. 2 to 3 cloves of minced garlic
  37. 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  38. 1 jar of roasted peppers or use homemade  roasted peppers,  you can also use sweet cherry peppers  or long hot peppers cut into strips
  39. 1/2 cup chicken broth, at the end
  40. optional chopped tomatoes
  41. In a large frying pan add oil saute; peppers and ham, add all spices. Add potatoes, sausage, and ham mix greens in stir, add the broth.
  42. Garnish: 1 cup shredded blend of provolone and mozzarella
  43. 1/2 cup of seasoned Italian breadcrumbs add 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
  44. 3/4 cup Locatelli or Parmesan grated cheese
  45. salt and pepper to taste
  46. Add topping to greens mixture.
  47. Place in a greased casserole dish and sprinkle with cheeses and flavored bread crumbs on top. 
  48. Broil until cheese melts.
escarole recipes, Utica New York Greens recipes, favorite escarole recipes, greens recipe, Utica Greens Recipes
escarole recipes, greens recipes, healthy recipes
Italian, American
Created using The Recipes Generator








Italian Utica Greens Sauteed Escarole Recipe Pin for later











Oldie Video on YouTube









Don't Miss Trying My Half Moon Recipe!












Update On Mr. Morelle

Update: Mr. Morelle has passed away in 2017 and will be forever known for these greens in Utica, New York. R.I.P. Joe Morelle and thank you for this fabulous contribution to us.
We will remember him fondly s in our kitchens when cooking Greens Morelle and make them with gratitude for his wonderful version of this delicious recipe.



Disclosure: This recipe was originally shared in 2010. It was edited and re-published in 2020.

36 comments

  1. I've never cooked with escarole before and you make it look so good!

    ReplyDelete
  2. every dish looks delicious!i don't understand what is escarole...a type of endive?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've never cooked with escarole either. I love kale and spinach, ao I bet I'd like this. Healthy too. I'll have to give this a try.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great uses of escarole. I often use it in soups. You have introduced me to some new ideas.

    Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I wish I could say I love escarole - I tried to but it's just a little too bitter for me. I use kale and spinach instead. But that dish loaded with goodies sure looks fantastic!

    ReplyDelete
  6. What is your connection to Utica? I'm from 45 minutes away and know all about Utica greens and its renowned iItalian meats! Great post - you don't see much of upstate/central NY on here!

    ReplyDelete
  7. greens, garlic and cheese?! SOLD. Sounds like a fabulous dish. I have never tried escarole, but I am a big kale fan. I'm going to have to try this!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I always see Escarole at the store and just thought it was for salad, didn't know it could be cooked into such a yummy dish. I love all your suggestions for additional ingredients to add add to it, great recipe.

    ReplyDelete
  9. All three versions are a huge comfort food for me! My grandma and mother prepared escarole similar to #2. Now I just know I'll be wishing for them after reading this post! ♥ 2 U my friend, and thanks for the flashback.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hmmm love saute greens! and this escarole looks something I could eat every day...even for breakfast! and I am not kidding! hope you're having fun in NY!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Is it bad that I've never had escarole before? I think I need to try it, it looks right up my alley.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hmmm.. escarole... it seems every day on a different blogger's page I find a new ingredient that I have never tried before! Excellent inspiration! :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. I have never eaten escarole before . What is it? :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love taking bitter escarole and sweetening it with braising and then adding your heat and garlic. Your entire spread is a beaity.

    ReplyDelete
  15. wow, I would like to sit and compare all three - and eat all three - I know each would be equally fine

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh, this post brings me back! My aunt Mary (born in Italy) loved to use escarole in the same ways you describe - soups, especially but also fried up with garlic. Thank you for reminding me. You have great recipes here. Next trip to the green grocers, I'm buying a lovely, healthy, green bunch of it!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I don't think I've cooked escarole before I do cook a lot of kale. Is it similar? Anyway, I'm pretty sure I would love escarole - you make it look so good!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Claud, this is delicious. Absolutely beautiful recipe.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Had this at Lascas in Auburn this weekend...Fantastic! It was version "second". Can't wait to try it. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  20. I am soo excited to have stumbled onto your blog. I live in GA but, am from Rome NY. Your spice cookie is the exact same recipe that my grandmother gave me. I use to have one for pink cherry cookies. Do you have one?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi Rachael, thank you, my husband is from Rome NY! such a coincidence :) the recipe I have is made with marachino cherry juice and pinole nuts....if you would like that one email me ...the address is on the blog...thanks will be happy to send to you it was my Aunts who has long since passed...

    ReplyDelete
  22. I also make escarole quite often. Love it in its broth with salt and sauteed garlic, Like a soup to dunk bread in it.

    ReplyDelete
  23. My recommendations if in the area: The Franklin Hotel in Rome. My wife's bringing me their greens tonight, dee-lish. In Utica, it's little out of the way, but Chesterfields make some excellent greens.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I lived in Oneida NY for twenty years and never had Utica Greens until last month. GREAT! I have lived in the south of Georgia for the past twenty five years and never had Shrimp and Grits until last month. GREAT! Go figure.sa

    ReplyDelete
  25. Have lived in the Utica area all my life until 4 years ago. My mom and grandmother used to cook escarole greens all the time, my favorite being greens and beans.
    We used to eat the fried greens in sandwiches on Saturdays for lunch!!! Thanks for the "greens" recipe!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I have no excuse not to try escarole now..all your recipes look wonderful, Claudia!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Awesome! my husband grew up in Westmoreland and when made these - he said it was a taste of home. I make them often now. Thanks for the recipe!

    ReplyDelete
  28. I've never eaten escarole but this post makes me want to.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Ha! Commented 6 years ago and had forgotten about this wonderful recipe! Hope to try it soon!!!

    ReplyDelete
  30. This sounds fantastic. I have never tried escarole, but that is going to change!

    ReplyDelete
  31. i love sautéed greens! These greens look so flavorful and good!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Yep! Gotta have my greens and I'm always looking for original recipes to change things up. This sounds really good, now I have to get me some escarole.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Oh wow. I've been looking for a great way to cook escarole and now I've found it. This looks amazing! I can't wait to give it a try!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Grew up in Rome. Greens were a staple. Fondly remember late night steak and greens at The Hollywood. Still make them regularly. Wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  35. I like escarole sauteed with lots of garlic in butter :-))

    ReplyDelete
  36. This would be a hit in the South too, Claudia, where people really love their 'greens'. Healthy for us that's for sure! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for your kind words and questions, I will try and reply to each of them. If you need help right away, contact me on Facebook or my email @pegasuslegend24@gmail.com