Weekly Salad 12: Escarole and Boudin Blanc




Escarole is one of my favorite greens. I like the pale, yellow center leaves that are surrounded by lush green outer leaves. I’m not sure why, but it seems escarole does not enjoy quite the same popularity here in the States as in Europe. There, it makes its way to the table in numerous ways. You can often find it tossed into salads with other slightly bitter greens like endive, frisée and radicchio; gently braised with butter or olive oil; or cooked with beans in a soup, both allowing its slight bitterness to mellow out. And so, you’re left with a delicate green that has the sweetness of ice berg lettuce but the texture of young napa cabbage.
    To make this salad, pan-sear and cook the boudin blanc (I used German weisswurst – a similar type of sausage from Alexander Hornung). Slice the sausage and toss with escarole and toasted pine nuts. Serve with a red wine vinaigrette that is heavy on dijon mustard.


    Bon appétit!



    9 Responses to “Weekly Salad 12: Escarole and Boudin Blanc”

    1. Fearless Kitchen Says:

      I bet this was fabulous…

      You’re right in that escarole isn’t really as valued in the US as in other places, but so many people’s greens intake here seems to consist entirely of iceberg lettuce so it’s not that surprising. I know a lot of Italian-Americans tend to eat escarole, although we tend to cook it instead of eating it raw.

    2. Warda Says:

      I love Escarole. The hubby on the other hand hates all bitter greens 😦 I bet this would be fabulous with Merguez too. I will ask the King of merguez to make us a batch 😉

    3. Jen Says:

      Your salads are so… classy! I’ve said it before, I know. I am probably repeating myself now with chemo brain and everything. What I love is your intimate knowledge of the raw ingredients you use and that you have specific preferences and tastes. We really need to have a food blogger fest where everyone gets together to cook and eat and pass out from unnaturally high blood sugar levels. Wouldn’t that be fun? Then we could weigh Jeremy and Pierre the next morning and wonder how the hell they didn’t gain an ounce?!? 😉 I am just dying to sneak over to your house someday with chopsticks in hand… xxoo

    4. Kevin Says:

      I have not done much with escarole but that salad is looking really good!

    5. Christie Says:

      Love the addition of pine nuts – they make a good salad, great.

    6. holybasil Says:

      Fearless Kitchen – Yeah, I also like Italian methods for cooking escarole, particularly when it’s not so tender — the cooking really helps to mellow it out a bit.

      Warda- You’re on, sister! My knife and fork are ready for some saucisse from the King of Merguez 🙂

      Jen – Thank you so much. Yes, a food blogger fest would be awesome. And, we would definitely weigh the two of them and find, to our horror, that they’ve somehow *lost* weight.

      Please come on by, we’ve always got room for ya!

      Kevin – Thanks, hope you try escarole more often – it really is delicious.

      Christie – Thanks!

    7. mycookinghut Says:

      After weeks of Asian food, Boudin Blanc would be a great French food indulgence!!

    8. We Are Never Full Says:

      Growing up, I always had escarole soup (in Italian-American speak, “s’croll’) but it wasn’t until a cheap, fabulous lunch in Rome a few year ago that I realized what I had been missing with sauteed escarole. It was amazing. Try it with some garlic, olive oil and raisins! yummmmmm.

      the problem is, even here in Brooklyn, it’s difficult to get this type of escarole you’ve shown here. the type sold in our store is tougher and darker and has a much more pointy-ish type of leaves. It just doesn’t taste or cook the same way as the type you have in your pic.

      amy @ we are never full

    9. holybasil Says:

      Mycookinghut – I’m jealous of your butcher shops over there in London – I’m sure you’d be able to get much better stuff than I can find here.

      Hi Amy, I know what your saying about the tough, darker escarole. It’s great cooked but it really wouldn’t be fun to eat raw. I imagine as the weather gets better, you might find more tender escarole at the farmer’s markets.

      Thanks for the idea of cooking them with garlic and raisins. I’ll definitely give that a try.

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