Escarole Caesar Salad with Walnuts

Photo: Lennart Weibull
Prep Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs
4 to 6 Serves

Pleasantly bitter escarole and buttery walnuts replace the romaine and croutons in this twist on the iconic salad.


  • 1 head escarole, leaves separated

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • 1 ½ cups walnut halves

  • 1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (3 ½ ounces)

  • 5 oil-packed anchovy fillets

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • cup extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  2. Submerge escarole leaves in a large bowl of ice water for 10 minutes. Then thoroughly dry in a salad spinner or colander, and place in a single layer on a paper towel-lined dish cloth. Roll up cloth; refrigerate until lettuce is crisp and completely dry (any water clinging to leaves may cause the dressing to break), at least 2 hours and up to 2 days. Tear the leaves into bite-size pieces.

  3. Place garlic in a large wooden bowl, add 1/4 teaspoon salt, and mash to a paste with a fork. Transfer half of paste to a rimmed baking sheet; set bowl aside. With the fork, stir butter into garlic paste on sheet. Toss with walnuts to evenly coat. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese, season with salt and pepper, and toss again to evenly coat. Spread into a single layer. Bake, stirring halfway through, until toasted and golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool to room temperature on sheet.

  4. Add anchovies to bowl with garlic paste and mash to a paste with a fork. Whisk in lemon juice, Worcestershire, Dijon, and egg yolk. Season with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Slowly add oil in a thin stream, whisking constantly. Add lettuce and toss to evenly coat, then toss with remaining 3/4 cup cheese and walnuts. Serve immediately.

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