Sam Mogannam loves to use the pale-green and yellow escarole leaves for salads. He saves the dark outer leaves and sautés them with garlic or tosses them into a pot of chicken soup.
4 cups 1/2-inch-cube crustless white bread
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 oil-packed anchovies, drained and minced
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
5 medium heads of escarole (about 1 1/2 pounds total)—dark outer leaves reserved, the rest torn into bite-size pieces
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for garnish
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large bowl, gently toss the bread cubes with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and toss again. Spread the bread cubes on a baking sheet and toast, stirring occasionally, until golden and crisp, about 10 minutes. Let cool.
On a work surface, combine the garlic and anchovies. Using the flat side of a chef's knife, mash the mixture to a paste. Transfer the paste to a small bowl and whisk in the mayonnaise, mustard and lemon juice. Gradually whisk in the remaining 7 tablespoons of olive oil.
In a large bowl, toss the escarole with the croutons and half of the Caesar dressing. Add the 1 cup of grated cheese and toss again. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with a little more cheese and serve, passing the remaining dressing at the table.
The Caesar dressing can be refrigerated overnight. Whisk to blend before using.
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