Amanda & Merrill

Radish and Escarole Salad with Anchovy Vinaigrette

August  2, 2011

Radish and Escarole Salad with Anchovy Vinaigrette

- Merrill

Confession: for years, I didn't like seafood. Period. Once a summer while in Maine, I'd have the requisite bite of lobster as all around me, the rest of my family enthusiastically tore into the bright red crustaceans, cracking claws and tails, prying out the tender sweet flesh and dipping it into ramekins of warm melted butter. I'd swallow my bite as quickly as I could, and then turn with relief to the piece of chicken my mother has roasted just for me. (In general, we weren't allowed special meals growing up, but my parents recognized that this was a true aversion, not just a ploy for attention.)

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Lucky for me, cooking school -- and the general process of growing older and more mature -- challenged and expanded my palate. These days, I enjoy many different kinds of fish (although I still don't love clams or mussels) and will gamely try any seafood I haven't yet come across. Anchovies were a bit of a hurdle, and you still won't catch me adding them whole to my pizza, but I've learned to appreciate the briny richness they lend to salad dressings, dips and even stews. I have especially come to enjoy the combination of escarole (part of the bitter greens family, which also took me a while to love) and anchovy. Recently, I discovered that radishes and anchovies are also a great pair, so I decided to combine all three in one salad. You can whip this up in a matter of minutes, and it's a nice, crunchy accompaniment to meat or fish. Or, you can serve it as a simple first course.

Radish and Escarole Salad with Anchovy Vinaigrette

Serves 4

  • 3 anchovies
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • Small bunch radishes
  • 1/2 large head escarole

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Like this post? Read Merrill's post from last week: Sugar Snap Peas with Lemon-Chili Breadcrumbs

Photos by Jennifer Causey.


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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • pierino
  • hardlikearmour
  • Fairmount_market
  • EmilyC
  • Merrill Stubbs
    Merrill Stubbs
I'm a native New Yorker, Le Cordon Bleu graduate, former food writer/editor turned entrepreneur, mother of two, and unapologetic lover of cheese.


pierino August 3, 2011
When using anchovies it's imperative to buy good ones in the jar and not the flat tinned ones (the ones everyone hates, including me). If you ever have the opportunity to taste the Spanish white anchovies known as boquerones they'll change your opinion forever.
And radishes, well my french breakfast radishes are almost ready to pick if the green worms don't eat all of the leaves.
Now Merrill and hardlikearmour we're going to have to get you started on uni next.
hardlikearmour August 3, 2011
Good luck with that, pierino!
Merrill S. August 3, 2011
Very good point, pierino -- good anchovies are key. I have tried uni, and I'm sad to report I'm still not quite there yet...
hardlikearmour August 2, 2011
Pierino and gingerroot have gotten me over my fear of anchovies when incorporated into a dressing/sauce. They just melt into it adding umami but not perceptible fishiness. I have a strong fish aversion (literally will gag if I try to eat even salmon) so don't be afraid to give this a try because of the anchovies.
Merrill S. August 3, 2011
Wow, a kindred spirit! (Exactly the way I used to be.)
hardlikearmour August 3, 2011
Except I'm 40-years-old so I doubt I'll ever like fishy fish! I do like mussels, so I've got you on that one ;)
Fairmount_market August 2, 2011
Sounds delicious. This would also work well with my new favorite green, biatola, which is a kind of beet green that is sort of like spinach and stands up well to strong dressings.
Merrill S. August 3, 2011
I'll have to try it.
EmilyC August 2, 2011
I love simple summer dishes like this that don't require a lot of fussing in the kitchen!
Merrill S. August 3, 2011