Monday, February 26, 2007

Escarole Epiphany

Okay, let's be real. I'm not going to lie to you. We all know what I'm about and it's not salad. I love desserts. Bread makes me giddy. Give me pasta and I'm absolutely delighted. Sure, I truly enjoy some nice soups and vegetables, but it's not how you will capture my heart.

So then why is there a picture of a salad on this post? Well, I've realized that I was mistaken for all of my life up until last week. I was mistaken about escarole. I thought it was bitter and horrible and would have never bought it or put it into a salad with other greens. I would have never tried it. Ever.

But then I was shown the light by Molly at Orangette. Well, not personally by her obviously. I'm just one of thousands of readers. But her post last week convinced me that I was wrong. So I went to the store and bought some escarole. I wonder if there was a sizeable increase in the sale of escarole last week? Supermarket retailers are probably wondering what happened. I guess it would be the Orangette effect. There must be something about the letter O...

Anyway, I decided that I would also try and make my own salad dressing from scratch. I put some sea salt, ground pepper, grapeseed oil, mayonnaise, and vinegar in a small bowl, then whisked until combined. I didn't measure the ingredients, so that's the best that I can do for a recipe. The vinegar that I used is a little different. The flavor is D'Anjou Pear. I bought it when I visited Truro Vineyards on the Cape. You can read about that here.

The dressing is really good and I think that I'm going to make my own salad dressing from now on. For the salad, it was all escarole for the greens. This was one big leap of faith! I added some chicken and Asiago cheese, then topped with the dressing. It was great! Escarole has a very mild flavor and is less bitter than most salad greens that I've tasted. I'm not one to get excited about salad, but I did have fun with this one.

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Asha said...

Looks yummy Anali.Whenever I have Salad for lunch,it feels so good for some reason unlike any other.

I love Salads too but I don't make dressing though.We love Thousand Island from the bottle!;P

Thanks for the dressing recipe.I might try and see how homemade dressing tastes,looks great.

starry nights said...

Anali..don't know what escarole is.But I love salads , have never made my own dressing ,just store bought or sometimes without a dressing.

Nance said...

Is it pear vinegar? I know d'anjou is a variety of pear. I'm intrigued mostly by the vinegar! I love to make my own salad dressings also. I haven't bought bottled dressings in years.

Nance said...

anali, I'm sorry! I just reread your post, and you clearly say it IS pear vinegar. duh. I just got done with some very picky schoolwork, so I must have left some brain cells behind on that.

forgive me. case of the mondays...!

Anali said...

asha - I feel healthier when I eat salad too. Of all people I would have thought you would have made your own salad dressing. I'm sure yours will turn out amazing!

starry nights - I only know that it is a type of salad green. And that it tastes good!

nance - No problem. I hope tomorrow is a better day! What type of dressings do you normally make?

Lotus Reads said...

Anali, I adore salads and am always on the lookout for new and interesting salad dressing recipes. I am going to have to write down yours and also go in search of some escarole...I see the Orangette effect spreading in Toronto, too! :)

Anali said...

lotus reads - You'll be glad you tried this. The "effect" has gone global! : )

Sanjay said...

Thank you for introducing me to Escarole in a new way. :) I have had it before in some form or other. I have gone from completely detesting salads to enjoying them.

wheresmymind said...

I don't think I'll ever buy a store bought salad dressing again...who needs 'em?

amisha said...

i've been thinking about escarole since reading molly's post... your salad dressing sounds really good too! must try it out next time...

Nance said...

anali--my boys like this one, but like you, i never measure, so you'll have to do some of your famous adapting:

2 oz red wine vinegar
2 oz vegetable or canola oil
2 oz ex. virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. dijon mustard
1-2 tbsp honey, depending upon your taste
salt and pepper to your taste
Put all ingredients into a jar and shake well to blend, or use a hand blender to emulsify.

Sai said...

Hey Anali:
I make my own dressing as well.

I make escarole, avocado and orange salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing....absolutely love it!!!

Anali said...

sanjay - Glad to! I find that when I have too many sweets, I start to crave vegetables after a while. It does take a while though. : )

wheresmymind - I wonder why it took me so long to realize this...

amisha - She does have a way with words doesn't she? I guess that's why she has a book deal!

nance - Thanks for the recipe! Honey mustard - yum!

sai - That sounds really good!

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