Escarole, Beet, and Cherry-Tomato Salad

escarole beet cherry tomato salad
Photo: Lennart Weibull
Prep Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs

Steamed baby beets are tossed with escarole, cherry tomatoes, blue cheese, fresh dill, and a lively shallot vinaigrette in this well-balanced spring salad.


  • 2 bunches baby red or Chioggia beets (each 10 ounces), bulbs peeled and trimmed, greens reserved for another use

  • ¼ cup finely chopped shallot

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 6 tablespoons rice-wine vinegar

  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes (5 ½ ounces)

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • 1 head escarole, core and dark outer leaves removed; inner, light-green leaves washed, well dried, and torn into 2-inch pieces (4 packed cups)

  • cup packed chopped fresh dill

  • 4 ounces blue cheese, preferably Danish, thinly sliced


  1. Set a steamer basket in a wide pot containing 1 inch of water; bring to a boil. Add beets, cover, and steam until tender, about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly

  2. Meanwhile, combine shallot, oil, and a pinch of salt in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft but not brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly, then whisk in vinegar. Season with pepper and more salt, if desired.

  3. When beets are cool enough to handle, cut into 1/2-inch wedges and toss with tomatoes, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons dressing.

  4. In a large bowl, combine escarole leaves, beet mixture, and dill. Toss with additional vinaigrette as desired; season with salt and pepper. Divide among 4 plates, top with cheese, and serve with remaining vinaigrette alongside.

Cook's Notes

Sweating the shallots in olive oil before adding the vinegar mellows their sharpness and brings out their sweetness.

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