Grilled Escarole and White Bean Salad
- SERVINGS: 8
Grilled wedges of garlicky escarole are combined here with tender white beans to make a simple first course that's also an excellent side dish.
- 2 cups dried cannellini beans, rinsed and picked over
- 4 thyme sprigs
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 large heads escarole, quartered lengthwise through the core
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- In a bowl, cover the beans with water and let them soak overnight. Drain the beans and transfer to a medium saucepan. Add 6 cups of water and the thyme and bring to a boil. Cook the beans over moderately low heat until tender, about 1 hour; drain. Transfer to a bowl and let cool; discard the thyme.
- In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup of the olive oil with the garlic and cook over moderate heat until the garlic is golden, about 6 minutes. Transfer the garlic and oil to a small bowl and stir in the lemon juice.
- Heat a large grill pan or cast-iron skillet. Brush the escarole with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, season with salt and pepper and grill, turning once, until the leaves are wilted and slightly charred. Transfer to a platter.
- Add the parsley and the dressing to the beans and season with salt and pepper. Spoon the beans over the escarole and serve warm or at room temperature.
Garlic, lemons, earthy beans and bitter escarole need a dry but assertive white to act as a flavor foil. Try a Pinot Grigio from Italy or a Pinot Gris from Oregon.