How to Make a Favorite Salad More Substantial

A few years ago, I read about an escarole salad with avocado and parmesan on Molly Wizenberg’s food blog, Orangette. Molly had never led me astray and like most of her recipes, I made this one over and over again. I even started stocking up on champagne vinegar and Maldon sea salt because of it. I’ve always tweaked the recipe here and there depending on what I find in my fridge. The other day, I made my favorite version yet.

It had been a busy afternoon. By 4 p.m., I still hadn’t eaten lunch. I was tempted to pull out some bread, a few types of cheese and call it a day. But when I looked in our fridge and saw a slew of greens, I thought of Molly’s salad. About thirty minutes later, I’d taken a simple recipe that normally relies on avocado slices and shaved parmesan and added mixed greens, pea shoots, sunflower sprouts, toasted cubes of multigrain bread and some hard-boiled eggs. My husband was home early from work and had yet to eat lunch, too. I pulled out two plates and piled them high. Instead of champagne vinegar, I whisked an aged sherry one with some sea salt, olive oil, a teaspoon of Dijon and a bit of freshly ground pepper. It was close enough, if not even better. By the time we finished eating, it was almost 5 p.m. We weren’t hungry for dinner until a few hours later. For that meal, we took the easy way out and ate some cheese and bread.

Lia Wiedemann is a writer who loves food and her two little boys. She leads Brooklyn food tours for new moms and shares favorite recipes and restaurants on her blog, This Little Piglet.

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