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Warm Escarole Salad with White Beans + Mushrooms

Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Dairy Free
  • Pescatarian
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Big Kids Plate
Toddler Plate

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Why we love it:

This salad is a bit like a warmer, faster, wintery Caesar salad. Escarole is underused (we think), but it’s beautiful for lightly wilting and serving with these other rich flavors, giving you a simple yet very elegant meal (pescatarians - even if you think you dislike anchovies, they melt into the dressing and just add saltiness - see notes).


  • Crusty Bread (country style, ½ a loaf - about 8 ounces)
  • 8 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (divided)
  • 12 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 12 teaspoon Black Pepper (freshly ground)
  • 8 ounces Oyster Mushrooms
  • 1 15-ounce can Cannellini Beans
  • 2 cloves Garlic (coarsely chopped)
  • 1 Tablespoon White Miso
  • 14 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons White Wine Vinegar (or more)
  • 1 head Escarole (large)

Cooking Instructions

  • 1. PREHEAT OVEN TO 350°F
  • 2. BREAD

    Remove crust, and tear bread into 1" pieces (go for about 5 cups - save the crust and make breadcrumbs!).

    Toss bread and 3 Tablespoons oil on a large, rimmed baking sheet, squeezing bread so it absorbs oil evenly; season with salt and pepper. Spread out bread pieces in an even layer and bake, tossing occasionally, until crisp on the outside but still chewy in the center, 10 – 15 minutes. Let croutons cool.


    Drain and pat dry the beans. Place on a baking sheet. Gently tear oyster mushrooms and add to the beans. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 Tablespoon olive oil. Toss and roast with the bread for 10 minutes.


    Meanwhile, heat remaining 4 Tablespoons oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring often, until golden, about 2 minutes. Add miso and whisk. Add red pepper flakes and remove skillet from heat. Add vinegar, scraping up any bits. Season vinaigrette with salt and pepper.

  • 5. SERVING

    Just before serving, toss escarole, roasted beans and mushrooms, croutons and warm vinaigrette in a large bowl until escarole is slightly wilted; season with salt and pepper. Serve any extra vinaigrette spooned over top.

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    a nice GF loaf will make beautiful breadcrumbs, or use sunflower seeds or roasted tofu cubes
  • MISO:
    use 1 teaspoon of dijon and 1 Tablespoon of soy sauce instead
    if pescatarian, this is a great place for anchovies, mash them into the pan with or instead of the miso
    garbanzo beans, or navy or butter beans
    omit, add lentils if you like, or just go without
    can be pricey and hard to find, use creminis or whatever you have!
    baby spinach, or chard

Kid Friendly Version

Big Kids Plate
Toddler Plate

How to Tweak This Recipe for Kids:

  • If not vegetarian, I’d sear some chicken, salmon or shrimp or sausages up too. Try beans whole or mashed. I would add a fried egg to the kid’s meal for this dish if not adding meat or fish
  • You can offer some escarole, but I’d have a back up veggie on the plate too - perhaps leftovers or something easy to steam or roast like broccoli, carrots, peas, or edamame

For Toddlers

  • Mash beans and mushrooms a bit. If you have rice or noodles, consider adding them, to the plate
  • Add an easier vegetable though you can offer escarole, many kids struggle with the texture of leafy greens and a bit of the bitterness

For Choosy Eaters

  • If not vegetarian, sear a piece of chicken, white fish, shrimp or salmon. I would add a fried egg to the kid’s meal for this dish if not adding meat or fish
  • Make sure there’s a side veggie they’ll try, keep it easy with something you can steam or raw vegetables. Offer bread as a slice or a pile of crunchy croutons

Prep Ahead & Use It Up

  1. Croutons and vinaigrette can be made and escarole can be prepped 1 day ahead
  2. Store croutons wrapped airtight at room temperature
  3. Let vinaigrette cool; cover and chill. Gently reheat vinaigrette before using
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