The Sweet Side of Bitter: Escarole & Roasted Beet Salad

Escarole is a lovely bitter green, great for salads or sautees and a much more versatile a player than a typical head lettuce-its texture holds up to cooking, and its crunch makes it great for raw salads, either as the star, or in a supporting role. To bring out the best in escarole and minimize the bitterness, pair it with healthy fats, acidity, and something sweet. This recipe does just that with pecans, goat cheese, apples, beets, and honey.

CSA week 41

Esarole and Roasted Beet Salad

makes 2 large portions or 4 side portions 1  head escarole 1 bunch beets 1 small apple 1/2 cup pecan halves, chopped 1/3 cup soft goat cheese or feta 1/4 cup red wine vinegar 1/3 cup olive oil, plus a drizzle for the beets 1 teaspoon dijon mustard 1 teaspoon honey pinch of salt and pepper 1. Prep: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Slice beets thinly (no need to peel), toss with olive oil, and lay in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Roast for about 20-30 minutes, until starting to crisp and caramelize on the edges. Quarter escarole, leaving the bottom stem intact. Rinse each quarter to remove any dirt near core. Remove stem and chop escarole in 2 inch segments. Spin or pat dry with a towel. Quarter apple, remove core, and slice thinly. In a dry pan, toast pecans on high heat, stirring often. When they become fragrant and crunchy, turn off heat and set aside. 2. Dressing: In a small jar or glass measuring cup, whisk together vinegar, olive oil, mustard, honey, and salt and pepper. 2. Assemble: On separate plates, or in a large bowl, layer escarole, apples, beets, pecans, and goat cheese. Drizzle with dressing. Text and photography by Katie Darlington- Taproot employee, home cooking enthusiast, and farm-to-kitchen blogger.  More recipes and writing can be found on her own blog A Season to Taste