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Escarole Salad with Pecans, Asian Pear, and Ricotta Salata

Escarole is one of our favorite fall ingredients and this salad, dressed up with cruncy Asian pear, salty ricotta salata, and fragrant thai basil, might be our new favorite way to use it.

Serves 4-6

1 small garlic clove

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

zest and juice of 2 navel oranges

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 heads of escarole (about 2 1/2 pounds), tough outer greens removed, leaves torn into bite-sized pieces

2 Asian pears, cored, thinly sliced lengthwise

1/2 pound ricotta salata

2 cups Thai basil leaves, torn into bite-sized pieces

1 cup pecan halves, coarsely chopped

flaky sea salt

1. Finely chop garlic clove. Using the side of a chef’s knife, mash garlic with 1/4 tsp. kosher salt to form a paste. Whisk garlic paste, vinegar, orange juice and zest, mustard, and 1/4 tsp. pepper together in a medium bowl. Whisk in 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil in a slow and steady stream.

2. Place escarole, pears, ricotta salata, basil, and about 1/3 of the pecans in a large bowl and drizzle with vinaigrette. Gently toss until salad is evenly dressed; season with sea salt and pepper.

3. Top with remaining pecans.