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Escarole Salad with Grilled Cheese Croutons

There is nothing better on a hot summer day than a salad, and this one is an entire meal! Not to mention that it has one of the best salad toppings ever: GRILLED CHEESE! Customize it with any of our suggestions for a salad that your whole family will LOVE!

Meet Escarole.

A member of the Chicory Family, escarole has a unique flavor that pairs well with this simple salad dressing and grilled cheese.

Customize the grilled cheese with your favorite bread, your favorite cheese, or by adding bacon, prosciutto, or Italian sausage (you can even slice up a leftover bratwurst).

Order escarole from our market and enjoy this meal-size salad any day of the week.


  • 1 Head of Escarole

  • Bread

  • Cheese (we recommend Muenster or Sharp Cheddar - something a bit stronger that American, but really any cheese will do)

  • Butter

  • Salad Dressing: Maple Syrup, Olive Oil, Lemon Juice, Salt & Pepper to taste

  • Optional: an apple, pear, or peach thinly sliced.

To Make the Salad

  1. Wash and dry the escarole. Tear into bite size pieces and put into a large bowl.

  2. Make the salad dressing: in a small mason jar, add 2 Tbsp maple syrup, 2 Tbsp olive oil, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper. Shake well.

  3. Make the grilled cheese: pre-heat a nonstick pan on medium heat. Make sandwiches with the cheese and bread (one sandwich per person). Butter the outside of the sandwiches. When the pan is hot, add the sandwiches, pressing down once in a while, until the bottom is golden brown (about 3 minutes). Flip and cook until the other side is golden brown (another 3 minutes) and the cheese is melty. Transfer to a cutting board.

  4. Toss the escarole (and optional apple, pear, or peach) with the salad dressing and divide onto plates.

  5. Chop the sandwiches into bite size pieces and place on top of each salad. Enjoy immediately!


When summer lettuces are out of season due to the intense heat of summer, escarole is a great option for a leafy green in a meal size salad. And let's be honest, who doesn't love grilled cheese (oh, and bacon, yes, bacon in the grilled cheese)?

Adapted from Food52's Mustardy Escarole Salad recipe, as our family doesn't care for the taste of mustard!

- Amy Tix, Borner Farm Foodie

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