Grilled Escarole Caesar Salad with Roasted Garlic Dressing

Grilled Escarole Caesar Salad with Roasted Garlic Dressing

Altered from Caesar Salad with Roasted Garlic Dressing, Bon Appétit, Jan 1994

2 large heads garlic
1/4 cup dry vermouth
4 1/2 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup olive oil

2 1/4 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
3 cups 1-inch French bread cubes

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Dash of hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)

1 head escarole
1 1/4 cups grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese (about 5 ounces)

Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 300°F. Peel off papery outer skin from whole garlic, keeping heads in tact. Place in small casserole dish. Pour vermouth over. Drizzle 1 tablespoon oil over garlic. Season with pepper. Cover; bake until garlic is very soft and paste-like, about 1 1/2 hours. Cool garlic.

Increase oven temperature to 350°F. Mix 2 1/2 tablespoon oil and rosemary on baking sheet. Season with pepper. Add bread cubes and turn cubes in oil mixture to coat. Bake until lightly toasted, about 15 minutes. Cool.

Squeeze garlic to remove cloves from skins. Place in small bowl and mash with fork to form paste. Transfer paste to blender. Add fresh lemon juice, Dijon mustard, anchovy paste, Worcestershire sauce and hot pepper sauce and puree. With machine running, gradually add 1/3 cup olive oil. (Croutons and dressing can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)

Heat grill to high. Cut escarole into 4 wedges, lengthwise, and coat with 1 tablespoons olive oil. Grill escarole wedges until lines appear, and transfer, cut side up onto plates. Let cool to room temperature. Pour dressing over. Sprinkle cheese and croutons over salad. Season with freshly ground pepper and serve.