Escarole Salad With Za'atar Pita Crisps, Blood Oranges, Radishes, and Hazelnuts

February 24, 2015
1 Ratings
Photo by Phyllis Grant
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

My friend Margi Young brought this to an Oscars party last month. We were all in love with it. She came over the next day and showed me how to make it.

I highly recommend making extra za'atar pita crisps. They're good on everything.

This salad can sit for an hour or so. Just don't add the za'atar pita crisps until the end or they will get soggy. —Phyllis Grant

What You'll Need
  • 1 large or 2 small heads escarole, coarsely torn
  • 1/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted, skinned, and chopped
  • 4 radishes, mandolined or thinly sliced
  • 2 medium blood oranges, supremed with juices reserved
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (for the za'atar pita crisps), plus 3 tablespoons for the dressing
  • 6 pieces of pita, cut into 1-inch squares
  • 2 tablespoons za'atar
  • 1 clove garlic, microplaned or very finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons thick balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked (or kosher) salt
  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
  • Handful parsley leaves
  1. Wash and dry the escarole. Look out for bugs -- they like to hide amongst the leaves. Set aside.
  2. Make sure all of your components are ready: the hazelnuts, radishes, and blood orange supremes.
  3. To make the za'atar pita crisps: Heat 6 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium-sized pan over medium heat. Once hot but not smoking, add the pita. Toss every minute or so. Turn heat down if it gets too hot. You don't want them to burn. When they're starting to crisp up, add za'atar. Toss for a few more minutes until almost completely crisp. Take off the heat and cool. You will have extra. You will want extra.
  4. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together garlic, lemon zest, both vinegars, olive oil, buttermilk, and salt. Taste. If it's too tangy, add more olive oil. If it's too oily, add more rice wine vinegar. Whisk in the shallots and set aside for a few minutes.
  5. Place the escarole in a serving bowl. Toss with 1/2 of the following: reserved dressing, hazelnuts, radishes, and orange supremes. Taste. You will probably need a few more splashes of dressing. Don't be afraid to overdress. This salad needs a lot. Top the salad with the remaining hazelnuts, radishes, and supremes. Rain down as many za'atar pita crisps as you like. Add a few splashes of the blood orange juice over the whole salad. Garnish with parsley for a bit of extra green.

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Phyllis Grant is an IACP finalist for Personal Essays/Memoir Writing and a three-time Saveur Food Blog Awards finalist for her blog, Dash and Bella. Her essays and recipes have been published in a dozen anthologies and cookbooks including Best Food Writing 2015 and 2016. Her work has been featured both in print and online for various outlets, including Oprah, The New York Times, Food52, Saveur, The Huffington Post, Time Magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, Tasting Table and Salon. Her memoir with recipes, Everything Is Out of Control, is coming out April 2020 from Farrar Straus & Giroux. She lives in Berkeley, California with her husband and two children.

1 Review

jennifer April 25, 2015
I bought some za'atar on a whim a few months ago - having no idea what to do with it! I think you've just given me my first idea - I'll try this out soon!