Escarole Salad is a fun change from the usual lettuce based garden salad. It’s made with warm asparagus and potatoes, chickpeas, and roasted red peppers and served with a lemon dill dressing, and it makes for a delicious lunch or light dinner. A great dish to take to picnics or to potlucks, I’m sure it’ll be making an appearance at a summertime potluck in my backyard soon! This easy to make recipe is vegan and gluten free.
I often find inspiration for new recipes in omnivore recipes that I find online, which is exactly how this dish came about. I saw a recipe for a Greek-style salmon dish on Epicurious, and the flavors really spoke to me. With the mixture of lemon juice, asparagus and escarole, the dish seemed perfect for warm weather. It was easy to veganize with the use of chickpeas, which is one of my go-to proteins for salads.
What is Escarole?
A head of escarole looks a lot like a head of leafy lettuce. It has wide leaves with short, wavy edges. The leaves are usually a darker green on the outside and lighter on the inside, with a thick, pale center stalk, similar to that of bok choy or napa cabbage.
Escarole is in the chicory family, along with endive and radicchio. They’re all slightly bitter in flavor, with a sharp bite.
You can usually find escarole near the lettuce and kale in the produce aisle a the grocery store.
Escarole is often used in soups, such as escarole white bean and Italian wedding soup, but it can also be used in salads like this one.
How to Make Escarole Salad
This recipe is super easy to make!
- First you steam the potatoes until they’re not quite done, and then you add the asparagus to the steamer and steam both for another 5 minutes, until the potatoes are fork-tender and the asparagus is crisp-tender.
- Next you mix together the dressing ingredients.
- Place the escarole in a large bowl along with the cooked potatoes and asparagus, chickpeas and roasted red pepper.
- Pour on the rest of the dressing, and toss to coat.
- Top your salad with Walnut Parmesan, if you like.
How to Customize Your Escarole Salad
You can easily make this salad your own!
- If you can’t find escarole, you can use leafy lettuce or kale.
- You can add a little Tofu Feta to give the salad a little more zip, if you like.
- I top my salad with Walnut Parmesan, but you can use store bought parmesan, if you like. Try Violife or Follow Your Heart.
- If you don’t like any of the salad ingredients, you can make swaps. Try green beans instead of asparagus, and cherry tomatoes instead of roasted red peppers.
Lemony Vegan Escarole Salad
- ½ pound small new potatoes cut in half
- 1 bunch asparagus tough ends trimmed and chopped (about 1 pound)
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup fresh dill chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 small head escarole chopped (about 4 cups)
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- ½ cup roasted red peppers chopped
- ¼ cup Walnut Parmesan optional
- Add about 2 inches of water to large pot and fit the pot with a steamer basket. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, lower the heat, and place the potatoes in the basket. Steam until they are not-quite fork tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Add the asparagus to the steamer basket and continue to steam until the potatoes are fork-tender and the asparagus is crisp-tender, about 5 more minutes.
- While the potatoes and asparagus are cooking, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, dill, lemon zest oregano, and sea salt in a small bowl.
- Place the escarole in a large bowl along with the cooked potatoes and asparagus, chickpeas and roasted red pepper. Pour on the rest of the dressing, and toss to coat.
- Top with Walnut Parmesan, if using.
More salad recipes you might enjoy include:
More chickpea recipes you might like include:
- Asian Inspired Spicy Chickpea Salad
- Avocado Chickpea Salad
- Asparagus and Chickpea Salad
- Vegan Chickpea Waldorf Salad
Originally posted May 25, 2016. Updated August 25, 2021.