Wilted Escarole and Garlic-Fried Garbanzo Beans
- Olive oil, for frying
- 8 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced about 1/8-inch-thick (1/4 cup)
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 cups cooked garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
- 2 heads escarole (about 2 1/2 pounds), cored and roughly chopped
- 1/2 lemon, plus lemon wedges for garnish
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Fill a heavy-bottomed saucepan with 1 inch of oil. Heat to 350 degrees, checking the temperature on a deep-fry thermometer. Add the garlic, and fry just until it starts to turn golden, about 10 seconds. Remove with slotted spoon, and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
Working in small batches, add the garbanzo beans to the oil. Fry until golden and crusty, 2 to 3 minutes. As you are frying, check the temperature of the oil with the deep-fry thermometer, and adjust the heat as necessary to keep it between 325 degrees and 350 degrees. Using a slotted spoon, remove the garbanzos to a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm in the oven. Remove the pan of oil from the heat, and set aside.
To wilt the escarole, place about 3 tablespoons of the reserved oil in a large deep skillet or Dutch-oven over medium-high heat. Add as much escarole as will comfortably fit in your pan and toss with tongs until wilted. Then start adding the remaining escarole a handful at a time and keep tossing until all the escarole is wilted. Reduce the heat to medium, cover the pan, and cook for a few minutes more, until the escarole is tender, about 8 to 10 minutes altogether. Season with salt and pepper.
Arrange the escarole on a platter, and squeeze lemon juice over. Scatter the fried garbanzos over the escarole, and top with the fried garlic. Garnish platter with lemon wedges.