Escarole Pie — The Weekender

Take a break from wintertime stews and braises with Giada's Escarole Pie. Delicious as a meatless main dish, this pie is hearty, brightly flavored and bursting with vegetables.
By: Marisa McClellan

We have a houseguest coming to stay for a couple of nights next week. Whenever we have people come to visit, I try to do a few things before they get here. The first is to make sure the bathroom is relatively clean (we have but one, so it degrades to messiness quite easily). The second is to make sure that our extra bedding is cleaned and aired out. And the third is to make some extra-tasty thing to have on hand to feed them.

Now, cooking for guests is a tricky thing these days, because just about everyone has some dietary exception. This means it’s always best to ask ahead of time, to ensure that you make something they will be able to enjoy. Happily, my impending guest is relatively free of food avoidances or aversions.

I considered making a big pot of soup to have on hand for her arrival, but we have been eating so much soup recently that I need a break. Instead, I decided to make Giada De Laurentiis’ Escarole Pie. It is chock-full of vegetables (most travelers I know welcome a good serving of greens), it can be served warm or cold, and the pastry crust makes it feel a little bit fancy and indulgent.

This pie is a combination of strongly flavored ingredients, but the end result is strikingly harmonious. Thanks to the olives and feta, it ends up being quite rich. I like to serve it with a salad of sliced cucumbers and halved grape tomatoes, and — if I'm feeling ambitious — alongside a roast chicken.

For your Weekender, whether you’re expecting guests or not, take a little time and cook up an Escarole Pie. Served as a side dish or a meatless main course, it will be a star on your table.

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