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Cooking + Entertaining

Pan-fried escarole: the recipe for the Neapolitan side dish with olives, capers and anchovies

Pan-fried escarole: the recipe for the Neapolitan side dish with olives, capers and anchovies


pitted black or taggiasca olives

extra virgin olive oil

Anchovy fillets in oil

There pan-fried escarole it’s a outline easy and fast, typical of southern Italy and in particular of the city of Naples. A tasty and gourmet dish, perfect for family lunches and dinners, an ideal accompaniment to main dishes based on meat, fish, cheese or simply to enjoy on a slice of toasted bread.

In Campania it is prepared with anchovies, olives, capers and pine nuts, which help to slightly reduce the aftertaste bitter of this vegetable. Pan-fried escarole is a lot simple: you do not have to blanch it beforehand, but you cook it directly in its water because it is very tender. In this way, in addition, we will avoid dispersing its precious nutrients.

The escarole, well washed and drained, is added to sautéed extra virgin olive oil, garlic and anchovies, and left to dry for a few minutes, then the capers, olives and pine nuts are added, then cooking continues for another 10 minutes, just long enough for the cooking liquid to withdraw and the escarole to be very soft and tasty.

Pan-fried escarole is often used to garnish savory pies e buns, such as the exquisite escarole pizza, a typical dish of the regional cuisine of Campania. For a sweet and sour touch, you can also add some raisins.

Find out how to prepare it by following the step-by-step procedure and tips. Also try stuffed escarole and escarole pancakes.

How to prepare pan-fried escarole

Arrange the fresh escarole on the work surface 1.

Remove the toughest or most damaged outer leaves and remove the softer ones 2.

With a knife cut the tips 3.

Also cut off any earthy and tough stems 4. Rinse the escarole thoroughly under cold running water.

Drain the escarole 5.

Pour extra virgin olive oil into a large skillet 7.

Add the garlic clove 8.

Mix the anchovies 9.

Fry over low heat until the anchovies are broken down ten.

Merge escarole 11.

Cover with lid 12 and cook over low heat for about 3-4 minutes 12.

At the end the escarole will have given up its water and will wither 13.

Add the Taggiasca olives 14.

Mix the capers 15.

And finally the pine nuts 16.

Mix with a wooden spatula to evenly distribute the ingredients and flavor the escarole 17. Continue cooking for another 10 minutes until the cooking liquid has been completely eliminated and the escarole is tender.

At the end of cooking, taste the escarole and if necessary add a pinch of salt which may not be necessary given the flavor of the ingredients 18.

Serve the escarole in a hot pan 19.


Pan-fried escarole can be stored in the refrigerator, closed in a container, for 2 days. At the time of consumption, it is recommended to heat it in a saucepan by adding a ladle of water.

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