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.

Escarole Ribollita

Escarole Ribollita

1 head escarole

1 fennel bulb (reserve a few sprigs)

1 large or 2-3 small carrots

1.5 c cooked or 1 can cannellini beans (cooked from dried or from a can)

1 sausage

2 tb rosemary leaves

1 tb fennel seed

½ c white wine

Stale bread (at least 1 cup, you can substitute bread crumbs or toast some fresh bread)

5 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tb. red pepper flakes

3 quarts water

Vegetable or chicken stock if you will not prepare your own.

1 tsp salt (not necessary if you’re buying a stock)

Prepare cannellini beans if not from a can.  If you’re buying a stock, heat it up in a large soup pot. If you’re not buying stock, prepare a stock by taking a large soup pot, dropping a metal colander into it, adding 3 quarts water, throwing all your carrot, fennel (reserve a few for topping), and leek tops into it (or anything else you’re not gonna eat soon). Bring to a boil, and then simmer for at least 30 min. Pull out the vegetable-filled colander for compost.

Thinly slice 1-2 onions. Dice sausage if in casing. Slice fennel bulb ¼ in thick. Reserve tops for garnish. Halve carrots lengthwise, then slice thinly into half-moons. Chop rosemary leaves and toast fennel seeds lightly. Chop escarole into ½ in strips, and make a few haphazard cuts through the rest.

Heat a large skillet. Add olive oil to coat entire base of pan and lower heat. Add onion and sausage. Cook 5 min. Add fennel bulb and carrots and cook for 4 min. Add rosemary and fennel seed for a minute. Add the wine and scrape the bottom of your pan.

Add skillet ingredients you’ve prepared to your liquid-filled soup pot along with your chopped escarole at a medium-low flame for 15 minutes. Toast your bread, if you’re using fresh.

Add garlic, cooked beans, bread, and salt. Cook 30 minutes..

Garnish with pecorino romano, fennel sprigs, and red pepper flakes.