Wilted Escarole, Chicken & Charred Tomato Salad
by Cristina Ceccatelli Cook, Cristina’s Restaurant, Ketchum, Idaho
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for cooking
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 6 Roma tomatoes, halved
- 6 boneless, skinless Smart Chicken breasts, pounded to ½-inch thick
- 1 large red onion, cut into ¼-inch rounds
- 3 heads escarole, split in half with core intact
- ¼ pound istara cheese, shaved*
- *Istara is an aged Italian sheep’s milk cheese with a smooth, sweet flavor and notably nutty finish. Istara is also known for its exceptional creaminess, despite being a semi-hard cheese.
In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 tablespoons olive oil, oregano, thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper. Add the tomato halves and stir to coat, then remove and set aside. Marinate the chicken in the remaining herb/oil mixture.
In a large cast-iron skillet coated with olive oil over medium-high heat, cook the onion slices for 8 minutes on each side, keeping the rounds together. Onions should be soft and slightly charred. Remove onions and set aside.
Turn the same skillet up to high heat. Cook the tomatoes, cut-side down, for 3 minutes, then turn and cook for 2 minutes on the skin side. Remove tomatoes and set aside. Add a little olive oil and reduce heat to medium. Add the chicken breasts and cook for 3 minutes on each side. Remove chicken to a cutting board.
Preheat the oven broiler to high. Place the escarole on a baking sheet and drizzle with a little olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Broil until wilted.
To serve, layer escarole, tomatoes, onions, chicken, and cheese, and drizzle with Cobb Vinaigrette (recipe follows).
- Cobb Vinaigrette
- Makes 2 cups
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Whisk ingredients together until blended. Store in an air-tight container until ready to use.