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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).

Ingredients

  • 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.

  • 3. MUSHROOMS + BEANS

    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.

  • 4. VINAIGRETTE

    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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Substitutions

  • GLUTEN FREE:
    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
  • ANCHOVIES:
    if pescatarian, this is a great place for anchovies, mash them into the pan with or instead of the miso
  • WHITE BEANS:
    garbanzo beans, or navy or butter beans
  • ALL BEANS:
    omit, add lentils if you like, or just go without
  • OYSTER MUSHROOMS:
    can be pricey and hard to find, use creminis or whatever you have!
  • ESCAROLE:
    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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