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Escarole Salad with Blue Cheese Toasts Recipe

Escarole Salad with Blue Cheese Toasts
Difficulty: Easy | Total Time: 20 mins | Active Time: | Makes: 4 to 6 servings

Escarole, the chicory that takes a backseat to Belgian endive, has a mild flavor yet holds up great in a salad. Here it’s tossed with piquillo peppers, orange juice, and olive oil and topped with toasts for a Spanish-inspired side salad.

This recipe was featured as part of our Cooking with Winter Ingredients photo gallery.

INGREDIENTS

For the toasts:

  • 12 (1/2-inch-thick) slices sweet baguette
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 ripe medium Roma tomato, halved
  • 2 1/2 ounces blue cheese, such as Gorgonzola, Roquefort, or Cabrales

For the salad:

  • 1/2 cup jarred piquillo peppers, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice (from 1 medium orange)
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large head escarole, washed, dried, and torn into bite-size pieces
INSTRUCTIONS
For the toasts:

  1. Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Brush the bread slices with the oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bake until crisp and brown on the edges, about 12 to 15 minutes.
  2. Remove from the oven, rub each toast vigorously with a cut side of the tomato, and evenly spread 1 teaspoon of the cheese over each toast.

For the salad:

  1. Combine the peppers, orange juice, vinegar, salt, pepper, and orange zest in a large, nonreactive bowl. While constantly whisking, slowly drizzle in the oil until completely incorporated. Add the escarole and toss to coat well.
  2. Divide among serving plates and top with the toasts.