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Author Notes: 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
- 1 head Radicchio, quartered lengthwise
- 1 medium Fennel bulb
- 1 Bartlett Pear, sliced
- 6 leaves Red Lettuce
- 12 blackberries
- 1/4 cup pistachios
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 1 sprig fresh oregano
- 1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola (optional)
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- salt & pepper to taste
- 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.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Lettuce