A single canned tomato adds remarkable sweetness to the dressing on wonderfully crunchy and bitter escarole in this minimalist salad.
Escarole Salad with Tomato Dressing
Tomatoes and escarole! How is this possible? A winter green and summer tomato—how could a local eater ever have them together? Quite simple really: this dressing specifically calls for a canned tomato. It’s a great way to use up some weird extra canned tomato if you’ve opened a jar or can for something else and didn’t need the whole thing. The sweetness from the barely-cooked tomato (which canned tomatoes are) softens the tight bitterness of raw escarole beautifully. Have people been known to lick the dressing from their plates? Yes, yes they have.Photos: Erin Scott
- 1 canned tomato yes, a single tomato
- 1 small shallot
- 1 tablespoon sherry or red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 head escarole
- Leaves from 2 sprigs parsley optional
- In the bottom of a large salad bowl, mash the tomato with a fork or the back of a spoon. Peel and mince the shallot and add it to the tomato along with the vinegar. Mash that all together. Add the olive oil and salt and stir to combine. Add black pepper to taste.
- Tear the escarole into rough pieces. Rinse it and dry it (use a salad spinner or a large bowl of water, swish the leaves, lift them out and onto a clean kitchen towels or layers of paper towels, gently roll the escarole in towels to dry) before adding to the salad bowl.
- If you want to make this a few hours before serving, cover the top of the escarole with a dampened and squeezed-dry paper towel and keep in the fridge.
- When ready to serve, toss the escarole with the dressing at the bottom of the bowl. Finely chop the parsley, if you like, and scatter it on top. Serve.
A bonus prize of an escarole salad is that the sturdy leaves hold up to being dressed quite nicely—any leftovers need not be tossed but can be eaten the next day.