Frankies Spuntino's Escarole Salad

I love the cookbook Frankies Spuntino, based on their two NY restaurants, one in the West Village, the other in Brooklyn.

The 2 Franks cook (well, they are probably not in the kitchen anymore) homey Italian food, keeping it fresh and simple. The food is to die for, but please don't die.

I never think to make an escarole salad at home, though I order it every time I am at Frankie's....comes in a wooden bowl and has the best, freshest toasted walnuts on top. Yum.

The secret is in the dressing, it is made by whizzing toasted walnuts in a food processor with the rest of the ingredients.
It is really special, yet so simple to make at home.

Here is the recipe, I suggest you make it!

Frankie's Escarole Salad: (adapted from Frankies Spuntino Handbook)

2 small or 1 large head escarole
1 cup very, very thinly sliced red onion
1 cup walnuts, toasted and crumbled by hand
3/4 cup Walnut Dressing (recipe follows)
1 tablespoon walnut oil
1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cut into curls with a vegetable peeler
black pepper


1/4 cup walnut halves, crushed
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon walnut oil
1/4 cup grapeseed oil (I used olive oil)
1 tablespoon tap water
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
sea salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste


Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until emulsified. The color of the dressing should be uniform and the texture silky smooth. Check the seasoning and adjust as necessary. (Dressing will only stay about 12 hours until it breaks down, so use it within a few hours).

Toss the escarole with the red onion and walnuts in a large salad bowl. Dress it with the walnut dressing and the tbsp of walnut oil, tossing well to make sure the salad is evenly and lightly dressed.

Serve the salad in the bowl, or divide it among serving plates. Finish with curls of Pecorino or Parmigiano Reggiano.

This is addictive!


Katie C. said…
I bought some escarole yesterday but I'm going to make Italian wedding soup with it ;-). If I have extra left over, I'll try some salad. It is a huge head of escarole.
Bebe said…
Escarole in our market looks like this:

Stacey Snacks said…

Yes, that is escarole! It's delicious.
Bebe said…
Thanks, Stacey. The escarole in your salad photos looked as though it was almost flat-leafed, not curly. We also call it “curly endive”.
Ciao Chow Linda said…
I remember eating lots of escarole as a child - cooked and in salads. It would continue to live in the garden almost till Christmas. I love the sound of this dressing and salad - on my list to make.
Unknown said…
I too get this salad every time I go to Frankie's!
Thanks for posting the recipe. I can cross "salad" off my Christmas dinner list.