This recipe is based on one of our favorite salads at Mario Batali’s Otto. We gave it our own spin: vegan but tasty, sophisticated but affordable. Roasting the sunchokes gives the salad lots of depth and crunchy capers replace the cheese. This is now our favorite salad in our fall repertoire! Feel free to leave out the sunchokes and add tuna or roast chicken if you want a little protein. —Weird & Ravenous
Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
Slice the sunchokes about 1/8-inch thick. Combine the sunchokes and almonds on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle a few glugs of olive oil over the sunchokes and almonds and sprinkle with a pinch or two of salt. Toss everything to combine and roast, stirring now and then, until the sunchokes and almonds are golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the capers on a paper towel to absorb any excess brine. Heat ¼ cup of olive oil in a skillet set over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the capers and cook, stirring, until crisp, just a minute or two. Be careful when doing this as the capers tend to spit and pop! Transfer the capers to a paper towel and reserve the oil.
Wash and dry the escarole and roughly tear it into small pieces, discarding the tough ribs.
Spoon two tablespoons of the reserved caper oil onto the escarole. Add the juice of a half lemon, a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Toss to combine.
Assemble your salad by placing the browned sunchokes and almonds on the dressed escarole, then add the capers and top off with the chopped parsley.
Cleo Brock-Abraham and Julia Turshen are the two best friends behind Weird & Ravenous, a production company that makes fresh content about food and the relationships it inspires. With a careful understanding of the many factors that go into preparing a meaningful meal, Weird & Ravenous is stirring the pot.