Quick-Sear Escarole Salad

9 Jun

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Escarole is a controversial vegetable. Some people find it’s bitterness off-putting while others find it delicious.

Escarole tastes great raw in salad (I recently had a simple escarole salad at Paulie Gee’s, a restaurant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn), and it can also be braised, sautéed, grilled, and even added to soups (I also recently made this soup with escarole).

Those who do not like the flavor of raw escarole may prefer it cooked. This Quick-Sear Escarole Salad is a combination of raw and lightly cooked escarole, with toppings–walnuts, crumbly cheese and a light honey drizzle–that mellow the bitterness of the lettuce.

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Move over iceberg lettuce wedge salad. There’s a time and a place for you, but right now, it’s all about that escarole.

Quick-Sear Escarole Salad

recipe from Food52

makes 2 servings 

1/4 cup walnuts

1/2 medium head escarole, cut through the stem into quarters

salt and pepper

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 tablespoons crumbled feta or cotija cheese

1 teaspoon honey, divided

Toast the walnuts on a dry skillet until fragrant and just starting to turn a deeper brown. Once toasted, set aside on a plate to cool. Wipe the skillet clean.

Wash the escarole thoroughly, making sure to get between the leaves to rid them of any sand. Shake off most of the water. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Once hot, place the escarole in the pan and sear for about 30-50 seconds on one side, flip and sear for another 30-50 seconds on the other side (you can use tongs or a spatula to flip). Transfer the escarole to a plate, top with cheese, walnuts and drizzle with honey. Serve right away.

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