Not all lettuces benefit from a grill treatment, but hearty bitter greens seal in flavor from the heat and lose the bracing flavor they can have when raw. The oranges and grilled lemon juice add acid so you don't have to rely on the perfect dressing to bring everything together. Serve this immediately as a warm salad, or pack up for the next day.
Just about any bitter greens will work here--radicchio, endive, broccoli rabe. To give the greens maximum flavor, slather a little ricotta onto the escarole while it's still hot so it'll still be bathed in creamy cheese if you refrigerate for the next day. The squash here is just plainly roasted with salt and pepper, but you can toss with cayenne or curry powder to change up the flavor.
- Yield:serves 2
- Active time: 30 minutes
- Total time:35 minutes
- One 1- to 1 1/2-pound butternut squash, peeled, halved, seeds scooped, cut into 1/4-inch-thick wedges
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
- 1 pound escarole, bottoms trimmed, separated into stalks
- 1 lemon, preferably Meyer lemon, halved
- 1 orange, peeled, quartered, and cut into thin slices
- 3 tablespoons fresh ricotta cheese
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted in dry pan
Adjust oven racks to upper and lower middle position and preheat oven to 450°F. Toss squash with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Lay squash in single layers on parchment or foil-lined baking sheets; roast until tender, about 15 minutes, rotating baking sheets halfway through.
Toss escarole with remaining olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Preheat grill or grill pan over high heat. Brush canola oil onto grill and heat until smoking. Grill escarole until wilted and charred in places, about 8 minutes, flipping halfway through. Let drain on paper towels and cool slightly. Meanwhile, grill lemon halves cut-side down until charred and caramelized, 3 to 5 minutes.
Toss together escarole, squash, oranges and ricotta. Sprinkle top with pine nuts. Serve with grilled lemon wedge to dress, or pack up in airtight container for later use, and squeeze over grilled lemon juice before eating.