April Bloomfield's latest restaurant, The John Dory Oyster Bar, has New Yorkers lining up for the chef's inventive seafood plates and pristine bivalves. Many diners rave about the restaurant's raw bar, but we were especially smitten with the chef's twist on the classic Caesar salad. Her escarole-based iteration tames the wintry green's bitter bite with a hot vinegar bath and a creamy, anchovy-laced dressing. The dish translates easily for the home kitchen--just be careful not to overcook the greens.
Escarole Salad with Creamy Anchovy DressingRecipe adapted from April Bloomfield, John Dory Oyster Bar, NYC
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
1½ ounces anchovies (about 10 to 12), rinsed and deboned (if necessary)
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
1 large egg yolk
¼ cup white wine vinegar
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups white wine vinegar
2 medium heads escarole, quartered lengthwise
1 cup toasted bread crumbs
Anchovies, for garnish
1. Make the dressing: In the bowl of a food processor, combine the anchovies with the mustard and garlic and pulse until a paste forms. (Alternatively, place the ingredients in a mortar and pound with a pestle.) Add the egg yolk and vinegar and puree (or stir) until emulsified.
2. In a mixing cup, whisk the olive oil with the vegetable oil. With the food processor running (or while stirring with the pestle), slowly add the oils to form a smooth emulsion. Transfer the dressing to a mixing bowl and stir in the cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
3. Prepare the escarole: In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar to a boil. Divide the escarole between 2 large mixing bowls. Pour the hot vinegar over the escarole, dividing it equally between the bowls, and toss until the escarole has wilted slightly. Drain and discard the vinegar.
4. In a large cast-iron skillet, cook the escarole in batches over high heat for a few seconds on each side, until lightly seared on all sides (the escarole should still be crispy). Remove from the heat and let cool slightly, then trim the root ends off the escarole.
5. In a large mixing bowl, toss the escarole with the dressing. Transfer the escarole to a platter, top with the bread crumbs and anchovies and serve.
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