Escarole Salad with Grapefruit and Pistachios

Three years ago I dated a pilot, a doctor doctor, a musician and a researcher.

Maybe at the same time.

Two and a half years ago, I met a bartender.  He told me about his novel.

I didn’t stand a chance.

Two years ago, I suggested that the bartender and I break up, because I realized I loved him.

Alcohol may have been involved.

One and a half years ago I moved in with the bartender, who then became a school teacher.

Almost a year ago, we celebrated our first Valentine’s Day; complete with homemade cards stating how much we hated it.

Half a year ago I revealed to the school teacher my biggest guilty pleasure, the reality (and makeover!) show, The Biggest Loser.

Now he watches it with me every Tuesday.

Don’t tell him I said that.

And this week,


we both had escarole for the first time.

What? What were you expecting?

If you say the e-word, well…

Well yes, let’s talk about escarole.

It’s a winter green that’s slightly bitter but quite crisp.  The sweet-tart ruby red grapefruit balances out the bitterness from the greens, while the salty, roasted pistachios give it that crunch that a salad just needs.

Serve it with a generous pour of pistachio vinaigrette, and get your head start into spring with the big, bright flavors that make you forget about that hour of sleep we lost last Sunday.

*If you have an avocado on hand, use it!  The creamy, almost buttery texture just wraps everything together.

Adapted from Rachael Ray Magazine

Serves Two (Large Salads)


Food processor or blender

A sharp knife

A large mixing bowl

For the dressing

Quarter cup of shelled roasted pistachios (I used roasted, salted pistachios and shelled them myself as they’re cheaper)

Quarter cup of mild tasting olive oil

1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons of maple syrup (you can add more, and you could also sub agave, but start with 1 teaspoon first as it’s quite sweet)

Salt and pepper to taste

For the salad

1 ruby red grapefruit, peeled and segmented (I honestly just tear off the skins with my fingers as I find that faster)

1 small head of escarole, leaves torn into easily edible pieces, rinsed and drained

1 avocado (optional), pitted, sliced into easily edible pieces

Juice from 1 lemon (if using the avocado)

2 tablespoons of shelled, roasted pistachios to divided, to top the two salads with (optional)

Pepper to taste

Pour all your ingredients for the dressing into a blender.  Puree until slightly smooth (there will be some chunks of pistachio, but the texture is quite nice).  Taste, season with salt and pepper if desired.

Toss the avocado with the lemon juice (if using).

Plate half the escarole, grapefruit, avocado (if using) and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of shelled pistachios (if using).  Pour half of the dressing on top.  Repeat with the second plate.  Season with more pepper, if desired.

4 thoughts on “Escarole Salad with Grapefruit and Pistachios

  1. Will have to add the ingredients to my shopping list for tomorrow! Sounds delicious. Luckily, we have ripe grapefruits in our yard right now…gotta love Florida…and a ridiculously mild winter!

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