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Grilled Escarole Caesar Salad with White Beans

June 2010
Grilled Escarole Caesar Salad with White Beans

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I love beans, greens and a good caesar. This meal combines these three greats into one hot dish.

Makes: 4 servings

  • 2 large heads escarole
  • 2 teaspoons anchovy paste
  • 2 large cloves garlic, 1 grated or finely chopped, 1 halved
  • About 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • Juice of 1 large, ripe lemon
  • About 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus more for drizzling
  • A generous handful of grated pecorino-romano cheese
  • Lots of pepper
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • A few grates of nutmeg
  • Ciabatta bread, sliced
  • 5 large eggs, hard-boiled, then chopped (see tip)
  • 1 15 ounce can  cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  1. Preheat an outdoor grill or grill pan to medium-high. Fill the sink with water. Trim the escarole but leave the heads intact, then swish the escarole heads vigorously. Halve the heads and dry them with kitchen towels.
  2. In a shallow bowl, combine the anchovy paste, grated or chopped garlic, worcestershire sauce and lemon juice. Whisk in about 1/2 cup EVOO, the cheese and pepper.
  3. Coat the escarole lightly with the cooking spray and grill, turning once, until wilted and grill marks appear, about 5 minutes. Season the escarole halves with a little nutmeg and drizzle the anchovy dressing on top, or chop to mix thoroughly with the dressing.
  4. Char the bread slices on the grill, on the grill pan or under a hot broiler. Rub with the halved garlic and drizzle with EVOO. Chop the bread.
  5. Arrange the eggs and the cannellini beans over the halved escarole or toss with the chopped escarole. Serve with the bread.
  • You can pick up hard-boiled eggs at deli counters and salad bars; chop and reserve them. Or place raw eggs in a small pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. When the eggs come to a full boil, cover the pan and turn off the heat; let stand for 10 minutes. Run the eggs under cold water as you crack them. Let stand for a minute to loosen the shells, then peel and chop the eggs.