Escarole has loose, broad green outer leaves, wide white stalks and a yellow-green heart. Look for heads with a crisp, firm texture and tight, unblemished leaves. If you can’t find it, substitute Belgian or curly endive or radicchio.
Looking for a meal that will come together in 30 minutes — and is still elegant enough to serve to guests? Try this deliciously simple recipe, featuring flaky white halibut (always a crowd-pleaser) and wilted escarole, a bitter green at the height of its season.
Whether you’re feeding the family on a weeknight or entertaining visitors from out of town, this is an easy, satisfying dish to have in your repertoire.
Halibut with Braised Escarole & White Beans
4 Tbs. olive oil, plus more for drizzling
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 pound escarole, cored and cut into 1 1/2-inch squares
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup canned white beans such as cannellini, rinsed and drained
6 halibut fillets, each 5 to 6 ounces
Lemon wedges for serving
In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute for 1 minute. Add as much escarole as will fit in the pan. As the escarole wilts, continue adding the rest. If the pan gets dry, add a splash of water. Cook until the escarole is slightly wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Stir in the beans and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a simmer, cover, and braise until the escarole is very tender and the liquid has thickened, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and keep warm.
Season the halibut fillets with salt and pepper. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the halibut and cook until opaque throughout, about 2 minutes per side.
Spoon the escarole and beans onto individual plates and top with the halibut. Drizzle with olive oil and serve accompanied by lemon wedges. Serves 6.
Find more fresh, seasonal recipes in our cookbook Williams-Sonoma Cooking from the Farmers’ Market.