Escarole is part of the chicory family, along with Belgian endive and radicchio, all appreciated for a slightly bitter taste. They hold up well when paired with strongly flavored, rich ingredients, nuts, cheeses or fruits. 

 

Escarole & Endive Salad 
   
with Gorgonzola & Walnuts


Toast walnuts in advance, giving them a chance to cool a bit. (See directions below)*
Rinse, dry and prepare escarole, replace in refrigerator to chill till serving time.

Mix vinaigrette:
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
            (or, 1 tablespoon Balsamic, mixed with 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar)
1 medium-sized shallot, very finely minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, shallot, salt and pepper to form a vinaigrette.

4 heads Belgian endive, about 1 lb. total, cored and leaves separated
1 head escarole, about 1/2 pound, carefully rinsed and torn into 2-inch pieces
3 ounces gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
cup walnut halves, lightly toasted*

In a bowl, combine the endive and escarole.
Drizzle with the vinaigrette and toss to coat the leaves evenly. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with the Gorgonzola and walnuts. Serve immediately.

Yield:  Serves 4.

*To toast walnuts:
Preheat oven to 350 F.  
Spread one-half cup walnut halves on a baking sheet and toast until lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes.
Remove and let cool.

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