Yes, you’re reading that right, those pink slices on top of the salad are pink pearl apples! They remind me of a watermelon radish, not much different than a typical green apple, but a gorgeous pink on the inside. I have to admit I did not realize that these apples would be pink, so it was a pleasant surprise when I cut into one. They are very tart, like a granny smith, and pair great with cheese. I picked this up at Greenstar in Ithaca, but any tart apple variety will work in this salad.
Escarole is a slightly bitter green in the chicory family, it looks very similar to lettuce but you can tell the difference in the jagged edges and white stalks. Lettuce is typically green throughout with more ruffly edges. Escarole is often lightly cooked, but with a flavorful dressing it can be enjoyed raw. This vinaigrette is flavored with grated garlic, thyme, and sweetened with a bit of honey.
Escarole Salad with Apples, Blue Cheese, & Walnuts
8 cups escarole, washed and torn into bite size pieces
1 tart apple, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, grated
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
few grinds of black pepper
Combine dressing ingredients. Place escarole in a large bowl, toss with the dressing. Place dressed leaves on a large platter or individual plates and arrange apples, walnuts, and blue cheese over the top. If making in advance keep ingredients separate until serving.