Mar 9, 2012

Bruschetta with Escarole, Capers and Mozzarella

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.

This bruschetta is like a deconstructed salad. There's greens, cheese and croutons but, instead of the lettuce being on the bottom, the croutons are. (This also means you can eat it with your hands -- a major plus in my book.)

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
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:

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