This is spectacularly easy, quite mouthwatering, and works as both a first course before an entrée or as a side dish. Escarole is part of the chicory family and has a pleasant bitterness to it. Note that while the outer leaves of the escarole are not used in this preparation, they should not be discarded.
- 1 head escarole, outer leaves removed and saved, thoroughly washed
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Coarse salt
- 1/2 cup pitted, crushed green olives
- Get your grill going. If you’re using charcoal, you’re looking for a not-too-hot fire (I like to think of the coals as being “soft,” which is to say they should be halfway through burning). If you’re using a gas grill, set the heat to medium. If you’re using a grill pan indoors, set it over medium-low heat.
- Shake the escarole dry. Cut it lengthwise straight through the core into 4 wedges. Drizzle each wedge with plenty of olive oil, about 1 1/2 tablespoons per wedge, and season aggressively with salt. Grill the wedges, turning only once, until wilted and charred in spots, about 10 minutes altogether.
- Transfer the escarole to a serving platter, give it a healthy drizzle
of olive oil, and scatter the olives over the top. Serve immediately.