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Escarole And Bean Soup Recipes From School Contest

December 12, 2013 by John Rook

Last week, Cheshire School District Director of Management Services Vincent Masciana took on Doolittle School Assistant Principal Kelly Grillo in a Escarole and Bean Soup Competition. The two made healthy portions of their family recipes for students at Doolittle to taste. In the end, Masciana won, but organizers of the events, including Schools Food Service Director Madeleine Diker, stated that the true winners were the students.
For the full story of the contest, see this week's Cheshire Herald.
If you'd like to attempt one or both recipes used during the contest, they can be found below:

Masciana Escarole and Pinto Beans
6.5 oz (less than ½ a bag) of dried pinto beans (soaked overnight)
¾ cup diced fresh onions
¾ cup peeled and diced carrots
½ cup tomato sauce
¼ of a bunch of fresh parsley, washed, and chopped (remove stems)
¼ of a bunch fresh basil, washed and chopped (remove stems)
Escarole one head or about ¾ lb
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated parmesan or romano cheese
Optional : cooked pasta
Optional: extra virgin olive oil
1.Rinse beans. Soak dried beans overnight in the refrigerator with about 2-3 inches of water above the beans.
2.There should still be enough water the next day to boil the beans, if not add water. Bring to a boil.
3.Add onions, carrots, tomato sauce, parsley, basil, salt and pepper to taste. Bring to boil. Reduce and simmer for 1.5-2 hours until onions dissolve and beans are tender.
4.Double wash escarole and spin dry.
5.Chop into 1-1.5 inch pieces.
6.Add to bean mixture and simmer 30 minutes.
7.Serve with grated cheese.
8.Optional to serve over pasta and drizzle olive oil on top.

Grillo Escarole and Cannelli Beans
1 small head of cabbage, diced into 1.5 chunks
1.5 small heads of escarole or one large head, double washed and chopped into 1.5 inch pieces
8 large cloves of fresh minced garlic
½ cup oil, canola or olive
1 stick pepperoni diced
2 cans (15 oz) white kidney beans or cannelli beans (not drained)
32 oz chicken broth
Grated parmesan or romano cheese
1.In a separate pot boil cabbage 10 minutes and add escarole, reduce and simmer 20-30 minutes until tender. Drain ¾ of the water, reserve the rest.
2.Sautee garlic in oil in pan, about 5 minutes on low heat.
3.Add pepperoni and sauté for 5-10 minutes.
4.Puree one can of beans and add to pepperoni and garlic, along with chicken broth. Simmer 10 minutes.
5.Add escarole, cabbage, reserved water and 2nd can of beans, (not pureed).
6.Add salt and pepper to taste. (we found that the canned beans, pepperoni and chicken broth contained enough salt and adding salt to the mixture was not necessary)
7.Sprinkle grated cheese before serving.
8.Yield approx. 8 cups.

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