I don't like salad. There, I said it. It's not that I don't like greens; to the contrary, I absolutely adore them. Especially when the weather's warm and springlike. But raw greens (or vegetables of any kind, for that matter) are just not my cup of tea. Flash-cooked, yes. But raw? No thank you.
That's not to say I don't like the individual components that make up a salad. I find various kinds of salad greens very tasty, especially escarole, a less bitter form of endive that, at least to my naive eyes, is difficult to distinguish from lettuce. But just bite into a leaf and -- yum yum! It's bitter and refreshing. I love it braised with onion but many people have it as a salad. And, since it's been delightfully warm out I started thinking about how to make a salad I'd like.
Trying to see if anyone else had a similar idea, I stumbled upon Kait's recipe for Curly Endive, Prosciutto & Mozzarella on Bruschetta. I started thinking about the prosciutto in her bruschetta. What does prosciutto add? Saltiness. So I added some capers instead, which also brought in some pungent sour notes. Because of the sourness of the capers, I toned down that flavor in the vinaigrette (because every good salad needs a dressing) by adding in some cream. Kosher salt kept the vinaigrette savory and black pepper made it hot and pungent. Enjoy with a Smoky Mushroom Calzone and Chianti. Bon appetit!
Bruschetta with Escarole, Capers and Mozzarella
inspired by I Can Cook That
- 1 loaf French bread, cut into 18 pieces
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 18 leaves escarole, thick stalks separated
- 1 large ball mozzarella, cut into 18 slices
- 3 teaspoons capers, pickled in brine, drained
Red Wine Vinaigrette
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/8 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, ground
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 350F. Arrange bread pieces on a foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake 15 minutes, until crispy.
Meanwhile, make vinaigrette. Whisk together (I do this in a liquids measuring cup) vinegar, cream, honey, salt and pepper. Drizzle in olive oil, whisking after each addition. When bread is done, place an escarole leaf, a slice mozzarella and several capers on top of each slice. Drizzle everything with vinaigrette. Serve at room temperature.
Links to other escarole delicacies:
- Chicken and Escarole Soup with Veal Meatballs from Gianni's North Beach
- Tortellini in Brodo with Escarole from The Secret Ingredient
- Escarole with Spaghetti from Living the Gourmet
- Meatball and Escarole Soup from 400 Calories or Less
- Minestrone with Turkey Meatballs and Escarole from Christie Koester