Monday, September 28, 2009

Recipe for Wilted Escarole Salad with Kohlrabi, Radish, Lemon, and Parmesan

Wilted Escarole Salad with Kohlrabi, Radish, Lemon, and ParmesanI love discovering foods that are new-to-me and turning them into friends. Escarole is one of those ingredients I was quickly intrigued by, but I confess after I heard about this interesting type of greens that can be eaten cooked or raw, it took me a while to try it. Actually, when I was first getting to know it, more than once I brought escarole home, only to have it go bad in the crisper. Maybe it was that feeling of escarole regret that spurred me on to make a salad with this head of escarole, which might have been a day or two past it's prime, but was definitely still good when I rescued it from the crisper. I checked Food Blog Search for inspiration and remembered Molly's Escarole Salad with Avocado and Parmesan, and I was also intrigued by how The Chocolate Lady had recommended a bit of marinating time in her recipe for Non-Cooked Escarole. I also had a bulb of kohlrabi my sister had given me, and some radishes in the fridge, and that's how this salad with escarole, kohlrabi, and radishes was created.

It may have been the Fattoush-Inspired dressing that was partly why I loved this salad so much, so if you don't have escarole and aren't likely to buy it, just use romaine lettuce and make the salad that way. I promise the combo of lemony wilted greens and still barely crisp kohlrabi and radishes is one that will make your tastebuds happy. And if you do spring for escarole and try it in this salad, I'd love to hear how you like getting to know it.

Grind together the salt and garlic, then whisk together the juice of one lemon, some of the zest of the lemon, a generous pinch of Sumac, and 3-4 T of olive oi. I recommend adding a few tablespoons of olive oil and then whisking in a little at a time and tasting, until you like the ratio of lemon to olive oil.

This is the escarole after I removed the outer leaves, but The Chocolate Lady has a great photo of a full head of escarole. Use the white inner leaves for salad greens, cutting off the stem, washing the greens, and chopped or tearing into pieces.

Kohlrabi is a member of the cabbage family with a flavor that's similar to turnip, so if you don't find it you could use raw turnip instead. Peel the kohlrabi and cut into thick strips.

Trim the radishes, wash, and cut into half-moon slices that aren't too thin.

Combine the chopped escarole, kohlrabi strips, and sliced radishes in a plastic or glass bowl.

Then pour over the dressing, toss, and let the salad marinate as long as you can stand to wait before eating it. For me that was about 15 minutes, but next time I would try to wait a little longer!

Wilted Escarole Salad with Kohlrabi, Radish, Lemon, and Parmesan
(Makes 2 generous servings, recipe inspired by escarole that needed to be used and salads at Orangette and In Mol Araan.)

1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. salt
juice of one lemon (2-3 T lemon juice)
1-2 tsp. lemon zest (zest the lemon first, then juice it)
generous pinch of Sumac
3-4 T olive oil, to taste and depending on how much juice you got from the lemon
1 head escarole, washed, dried, and chopped or torn into pieces
1/2 large kohlrabi, cut into strips to equal 1 cup kohlrabi strips
1/2 cup radishes, trimmed and cut into half-moon shapes
generous amount fresh ground black pepper
2 T coarsely grated fresh parmesan

Use a mortar and pestle or spoon to mash together the garlic and salt and put in small bowl. Zest lemon and add to salt-garlic mixture, then juice lemon and add the juice. Add sumac, then whisk in olive oil, starting with two tablespoons, then whisking in a few teaspoons at a time until you think the balance between lemon and oil is just right. (I like a lot of lemon.)

Wash escarole, spin dry or dry with paper towels, then chop or tear into bite-sized pieces. (For washing in the salad spinner, I chop first and then wash.) Slice kohlrabi and cut into short strips about 1/2 inch wide. Trim ends from radishes, cut in half lengthwise, then slice into half-moon slices.

Combine escarole, kohlrabi strips, and radish slices in a bowl, then pour dressing over and toss. Let salad marinate 15-30 minutes. Season generously with fresh ground black pepper, arrange on salad plates and sprinkle 1 T coarsely grated parmesan cheese over each salad.

This will keep in the fridge overnight but it will be fairly wilted by the second day. However, I had some leftover and I certainly did eat it!

Printer Friendly Recipe

South Beach Suggestions:
This is a perfect salad for any phase of the South Beach Diet or any type of low-glycemic eating plan. I ate the salad as a lunch, but it would make a great side dish with something like Baked Chicken Strips with Mustard, Almond, and Parmesan or Chicken Picatta with Fried Capers. (By the way, as you're reading this, I'm still in San Francisco visiting two of my step-sisters and over-indulging on some wonderful restaurant meals! When I get home, things like this delicious salad will help me get back on track.)

More Ways to Try Escarole:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Cannellini Bean Soup with Roasted Italian Sausage and Escarole from Kalyn's Kitchen
Sauteed Escarole with Parmesan and Pine Nuts from Kalyn's Kitchen
Escarole and Walnut Salad with Anchovy Dressing from Gina at Serious Eats
Escarole Lentil Soup with Turkey Sausage Meatballs from Pink of Perfection
Escarole with Fried Garlic, Dates, and Shaved Cheese from Whipped
Escarole and White Beans from Cheap Healthy Good
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)
counter customizable free hit
Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and this blog earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

More to Chew On:


  1. WOW what a salad! I cant wait to try it!Figtreeapps

  2. What a fresh, original salad! I really need to get a hold of some sumac. That dressing sounds wonderful.

  3. carole with an "e" in NYCSeptember 29, 2009 at 6:41 AM

    Hi Kalyn,
    Lovely looking salad. I, like you, rarely use escarole uncooked but now that you mention it....and adding the raw kohlrabi, wow.
    Usually I use this delicious green for soup, with either homemade broth or canned. Add a can of white beans and a few sprinkles of grated parm, and you have a most wonderful yummy meal. Thanks for reminding me that it is "salad" too; and the added bonus of again using the sumac, terrific. Thanks.

  4. I've never had escarole; I'll have to try it if I ever come across it!

  5. Delish! Lemon and parmesan go so well together.

  6. I've nver hard of Escarole and I am not really sure it is something I would be able to buy here but as you said I could use Romain lettuce and this does look like a delicious salad!

  7. Interesting... I love escarole, but never had kohlrabi, bought it once and (shame on me!) it went from the fridge to the garbage can, as I totally forgot about it.

    this salad looks great!

  8. I don't know why I have such a hard time coming up with unique salads - and yet I love them! thanks for the inspiration! I love Parm in a big salad... and radishes!

  9. I LOVE SALADS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Mmm, this looks delicious! Can't wait to try it!

  11. I just added this link to today's recipe!


I'm so happy you're taking the time to comment on Kalyn's Kitchen! I love hearing from people who stop by, especially if you're sharing feedback or asking questions about a recipe I've posted here.

I've recently changed my comment settings so people can comment without signing in, but you will need to check the box to show you're a live person, and comments on older posts won't show up until I publish them. Thanks for understanding!

And if you really like the recipe, Pins, Shares, Tweets, and Yums are always appreciated!

Blogging tips