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Escarole is the mildest mannered member of the chicory family of lettuce, but can claim many healthy components.

Its leaves are brilliant green and floppy on the outside lightening to almost white in the centre. It welcomes the strongly flavored anchovy dressing as does the diced avocado.

This organically-grown beauty was picked young–we ate almost the whole lettuce for lunch–there was very little wastage. A larger more mature specimen might need the damaged outer leaves removing.

Mixing the greens makes for a pretty picture. Add a little darker green rocket to the salad if you have it to hand.

Yesterday our friend Romaine–here for a few days–suggested some diced cucumber might cut the rich mix of anchovy and avocado. I’ll try it today with the last avocado and some rocket.

1 escarole lettuce–washed and spun dry

2 avocados–halved and diced

1 sweet onion or several spring onions/scallions–sliced thin

For the dressing:

garlic clove–peeled and pulped with a little salt in a mortar

anchovy fillets–chopped roughly

2 tblsps red wine vinegar

4 tblsps olive oil

salt to taste–remembering the anchovies are salty and a turn of the pepper mill

mix the dressing:

  • Add the chopped anchovy fillets to the garlic pulp in the mortar and mush and stir them together.
  • Add a little pepper.
  • Mix in the vinegar then whisk in the oil.
  • Taste for salt and add extra if needed.

Arrange the leaves of the escarole as you like in a wide bowl and add the avocado, onion and the rocket (optional!).

Just before serving, whisk the dressing and spoon it over the salad.

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Turn it all over to coat the salad leaves thoroughly.

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