Escarole salad with winter pears, cauliflower, capers-anchovy vinaigrette

This wintery salad was on the menu in the Fall of 2011 at Cafe Presse.  Thanks to Becky St. Clair for requesting the recipe.


1/4 cup Dijon mustard
10 anchovy filets in oil
1/4 cup toasted pinenuts
1 cloves garlic, peeled and germ removed
1 small shallot, peeled
1/4 teaspoon India Red flaked chili
1 dried fig, stem removed
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup yogurt
Salt and pepper
Vegetable oil
Escarole, cored and washed
Cauliflower, cored and cut into florets.
Winter pear, quartered, cored and sliced
Olive oil
Italian parsley, stemmed and roughly chopped


  1. Roast the cauliflower: Toss the cauliflower florets with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread them on a sheet pan. Roast in a 400 degree oven until just tender, about 12 minutes. Cool completely.
  2. Make the vinaigrette: Put the mustard, anchovies, pinenuts, garlic, shallots, red chili flake, fig, orange juice, lemon juice, vinegar and yogurt into the blender. Season well with salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. With the blender running, use vegetable oil and a little of the anchovy oil to emulsify the vinaigrette until it is fairly thick but still liquid. Check the seasoning and correct with salt and pepper as needed
  3. Toss together leaves of escarole, chopped parsley, pear slices and cauliflower in the ratio that you prefer. Dress lightly with vinaigrette and toss again. Mound on a serving plate. Top with capers and a drizzle of the vinaigrette.

3 thoughts on “Escarole salad with winter pears, cauliflower, capers-anchovy vinaigrette”

  1. Thank you so much for posting this Jim! I never would have guessed the fig and orange juice in the dressing, but I’m making this tonight.

  2. Hey Jim,

    Was wondering if you’d possibly share the vinaigrette dressing for the salad verte? It was published years ago in one of the Seattle magazines, but I can’t find it. My wife and I live a block from Presse and order it there about once a week – promise we won’t stop.



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