Escarole is a great green but one that I have never cooked myself before—in part, gentle reader, because I often have trouble distinguishing it from lettuce at the market. On this occasion, however, the escarole was clearly marked, and I thought it would be perfect grilled as a complement to the lamb chops and butter beans I was making for dinner. So I decided to take a chance on an escarole-grilling escapade, and it turned out delicious.
This side dish was actually inspired by a delicious small plate from The Vanderbilt—one of The Rob’s and my favorite neighborhood spots—consisting of grilled escarole, hazelnuts, and as I learned when I looked it up after dinner, “Pecorino Ginepro”—which I’d never heard of before but turns out to involve flavors of balsamic vinegar and juniper berries. I happened to have pecorino romano on hand, but no hazelnuts—they’re great in this, though, or you could maybe try some toasted walnuts.