Ok – those that know me well know that I am in love with escarole. It is such an incredible green leaf that is simultaneously fluffy, substantial, crisp, toothsome, delicious raw as well as braised and packed with all the nutritious goodness of the chicory family – ditto to radicchio, coming in a close second to escarole. So, in honor of incredibly beautiful bodacious heads of escarole this week at market, it felt fitting to share our favorite all-time recipe for salad. Hands down. Really. This salad will change how you view escarole forever – or any chicory for that matter! Get ready to live!
- 1 head escarole; chopped , washed, spun,
- 1 head radicchio; chopped, washed, spun (optional)
- 1 small red onion
- 4 oz. blue cheese, crumbled (preferably Gore Dawn-Zola from Boucher Family Farms in Highgate Center, VT)
- 2 T. best quality balsamic vinegar
- 4 T. best quality EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
- 2 tsp. chopped thyme leaves
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. freshly crushed black pepper
- ¼ c. toasted chopped walnuts (optional)
- Chop, wash and spin escarole & radicchio (if using). Put in largest bowl you have.
- Make dressing. Whisk together vinegar, thyme, salt and pepper with EVOO until salt dissolves.
- Marinate blue cheese in dressing while you chop red onions
- Finely chop red onions and add to marinade.
- About 10 minutes before serving, and using your hands to mix thoroughly, add dressing to escarole – mix well. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or so to soften leaves slightly.
- Pile high on plates and add walnuts, if using.
- This recipe is fantastic with a grilled or roasted steak or chicken on top.
- Enjoy thoroughly! You will wish you made more. I promise!