Crisp Escarole Salad with Garlicky Anchovy Dressing
- TOTAL TIME: 35 MIN
- SERVINGS: 4
This salad is based on bagna cauda ("hot bath"), a classic Piedmontese sauce made with anchovies, garlic, butter and olive oil. It's generally served warm, with raw vegetables for dipping. Melissa Rubel Jacobson transforms most of bagna cauda's ingredients into a dressing that she tosses with a nicely crunchy mix of escarole, radishes, celery and cucumber.
- Two 3/4-inch-thick slices of sourdough bread, cut into 3/4-inch dice (3 cups)
- 1 large head of escarole, light green and white leaves only, cut crosswise into 1-inch strips
- 6 radishes, thinly sliced
- 4 celery ribs with leaves, thinly sliced
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 seedless cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 oil-packed anchovy fillets, drained and coarsely chopped
- 6 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Freshly ground pepper
- Kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°. On a baking sheet, toast the bread for 15 minutes, tossing once, until lightly golden; let cool.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss the escarole strips with the radishes, celery, tomatoes and cucumber.
- In a small saucepan, combine the olive oil, chopped anchovies and minced garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is lightly golden, about 7 minutes. Add the lemon juice and season generously with pepper.
- Add the croutons to the salad and toss. Pour the dressing over the salad, season lightly with salt and toss again. Serve at once.