I used to think cold weather meant the world was relegated to eating apples, pears, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash. But as I grew older I was introduced to a cornucopia of Winter produce, from blood oranges and kumquats to kale and leafy chicories. One of my top picks is übernutritious escarole, a greenish-white chicory that's not quite as bitter as radicchio and frisée.
Escarole is sweeter sautéed, but adds a nice crunch in a seasonal salad. Roughly chop it and toss with Dijon vinaigrette to cut the bitterness. Or, for something a bit more elaborate, make xató, a classic Catalan salad topped with a romesco-like sauce, and served with anchovy, tuna, and salt cod (baccala). Make the most of January's bounty with two different types of escarole salad when you read more.
1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped Serves 8 as a first course. Nutritional information per serving: Calories 208, Fat 19g, Saturated Fat 3g, Cholesterol 5mg, Sodium 277mg, Protein 6g, Carbohydrate 5g, Fiber 3g. 6 ounces salt cod For the sauce: Serves 6.
1 large head escarole, torn into pieces (about 12 cups)
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 ounces Parmesan, shaved (about 1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
kosher salt and black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
8 anchovy fillets
6 oz. olive oil–packed canned tuna, drained and separated into 1-inch chunks
2 ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
3⁄4 cup black olives, preferably Arbequina
1 head escarole, cored and separated into leaves
1⁄2 cup blanched almonds
4 nyora or romesco peppers or ancho chilies, 1 tsp. pimentón or hot paprika
1 slice coarse country white bread, about 1 oz., crusts removed
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
8 to 10 hazelnuts
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1⁄3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt, to taste
1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
Serves 8 as a first course.
Nutritional information per serving: Calories 208, Fat 19g, Saturated Fat 3g, Cholesterol 5mg, Sodium 277mg, Protein 6g, Carbohydrate 5g, Fiber 3g.
6 ounces salt cod
For the sauce: