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Author Notes: Escarole was a traditional summer green in my mamma's garden and kitchen, and is commonly found in Italian cuisine. Its bitterness makes it less popular in the U.S., but grilling it adds a sweet char and makes a perfect bed for this luxurious Smoked Cherry Sauce (which you'll be licking out of the pan). Start the fire about 45 minutes before you begin to cook - you will want the wood or coals to burn steadily at medium heat (i.e. without flames licking the food on high). Arrange the logs to create a flat surface to land a grill grate, and have a thick towel (or fireproof mitts) and coasters ready to handle your cast iron skillet. —Emma Frisch
Grilled Escarole Salad
- 1 bunch Escarole head, halved
- 2/3 cup Walnuts, toasted
- 1/3 cup Goat cheese, crumbled
Smoked Cherry Sauce
- 3 tablespoons Butter
- 2.5 tablespoons Shallots, minced
- 1/3 cup Cherry liquor or ruby port
- 2 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
- 1 pint Cherries, pitted
- 2 sprigs Thyme
- Place the escarole on the grill. Char and wilt the leaves on both sides. Transfer to a serving plate.
- Top the grilled escarole with the toasted walnuts and goat cheese.
- Place a small or medium cast iron skillet on the grill grate to heat. Have all your sauce ingredients ready - you will want to move fast!
- Add the butter. When it foams, add the shallots and cook until they begin to brown.
- Add the cherry liqueur and balsamic vinegar. Allow the sauce to simmer and reduce slightly.
- Add the cherries and gently smash with the back of a spoon. When the cherries break down, add the thyme.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and pour the sauce over the grilled escarole.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe Cooked Over a Fire