Photo by wickenden/Flickr CC
This dish was modified from a recipe by Ian Knauer in the April 2008 issue of Gourmet.
Makes 4 servings
• 1 large head escarole (1 ¼ pound)
• 3/4 cup Arborio rice
• ½ cup pine nuts
• ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
• 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 1 onion, chopped
• 1 pound ground lamb
• 1 large egg, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in upper third.
Quarter escarole lengthwise, leaving base attached, and rinse well. Cook in a medium pot of boiling salted water (two tablespoons salt for four quarts water) six minutes. Drain and cool.
Meanwhile, bring 1 quart water to a boil with one and a half teaspoons salt in a medium saucepan. Add rice and parboil, uncovered, 10 minutes (rice will not be tender). Reserve a half cup of cooking liquid, then drain rice in a sieve.
Cook pine nuts and onion in a quarter-cup oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring, until both are pale golden, about three minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until it begins to brown, about a minute. Add in ground lamb and cook until browned, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and add rice. Cool slightly, then stir in egg.
Cut off and discard base from one escarole quarter, then gently spread leaves to create a four-inch-wide area. With base end nearest you, place one fourth of rice mixture in center of bottom half of escarole. Fold base of leaves over rice, then fold in sides and roll up rice in escarole. Put, seam side down, in a two-quart flameproof shallow baking dish, then repeat with remaining escarole and rice.
Drizzle with reserved cooking liquid and remaining tablespoon oil. Cover tightly with foil and bake until rice is tender, about 30 minutes.
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