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Pierogi with Carrots and Escarole

Homemade mashed potatoes completes the dish.

Homemade mashed potatoes completes the meal.

It doesn’t take a village to make this simple pierogi dinner, but having Food Sharing Network’s photo editor, Chris Mathieu, pitch in always adds to the pleasure of cooking. Try this unusual recipe for cheese pierogi with carrots and escarole for an easy tasty meal. Bonus: it’s vegetarian too.

This preparation is a far cry from the way my grandmother, who was born in Poland, made pierogi, a Friday night standard when she lived with us. She always made the dough from scratch – and sometimes the cheese too. She then deep-fried the pierogi in vegetable oil (or maybe it was Crisco), along with homemade French fries. We may have had a vegetable, but, honestly, I only remember a little rye bread and butter on the side. To be sure, she never cooked escarole in her life. I grew up thinking it was a food that was only used in authentic Italian cooking.

Pierogi with Carrots and Escarole

The Basics:

  • 1 package fresh cheese pierogi, about 13 ounces
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into thin rounds
  • 5 cups escarole, cleaned of all sand and cut into wide strips
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon red wine or cider vinegar
It takes a special kind of guy to look good sporting an apron, camera and dish towel at the same time.

It takes a special kind of guy to look good sporting an apron, camera and dish towel at the same time.

In a large fry or sauté pan, heat oil and cook carrots until almost tender, about 10 minutes.

Add escarole and sauté uncovered until almost tender.

Add sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper and cook covered on low until vegetables are tender, about 5 to 7 minutes.

At the same time, fill a large pot with cold water. Cook pierogi according to directions.

Drain and keep warm until carrots and escarole are done.

Combine vegetables and pierogi and serve.

Excellent with mashed potatoes.

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