I love a composed salad, with ingredients separately prepped and layered on the plate in a fine fusion of flavor and color. While most types of lettuce stand up poorly to heat, radicchio is remarkably resilient. Doused with a good quality olive oil and flash-flamed over a grill, radicchio loses its bitter bite to impart a sweet, smokey complexity to the salad. Paired with the crunch of shaved fennel and slices of juicy Bartlett pear, topped with pistachios and blackberries, and you have a summer salad that needs little more than a fresh herb dressing. For those last-of-summer pickings from the garden, I’ve taken a few sprigs of fresh oregano, thyme and rosemary, whisked them with olive oil and lemon, and there you have it. A summer salad made simple. —Vivian Henoch
Preheat a gas grille to medium-high or prepare a medium hot fire in a charcoal grill. Drizzle olive oil over quartered radicchio and place on grill; cover and cook until outer leaves are lightly charred. About two minutes per side.
Cut fennel and pear into thin slices and arrange on red lettuce leaves. Add grilled radicchio, berries and nuts.
In a small bowl (or a food processor) whisk together 1/4 cup olive oil, lime juice, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Drizzle over salad. Optional: add crumbled Gorgonzola. Enjoy.