Feel free to use any combination of grilled vegetables and herbs you've got, but this one is especially good. As Bloomfield writes, "This is a chunky dressing that makes each bite of a salad taste different. The dressing is also good spooned over a steak and sprinkled with crumbled blue cheese, or dolloped onto a lamb chop with some feta." We also loved it spooned onto toast, stirred into pasta or potatoes or tuna salad. Adapted very slightly from A Girl and Her Greens (Ecco, 2015). —Genius Recipes
medium fennel bulb, outer layer, stalks and fronds removed, root end trimmed of brown bits
small red onion (about 1/4 pound), cut into 1/2-inch thick rounds
small head radicchio (outermost leaves removed, bottom trimmed of brown bits, quartered lengthwise) and cut into 1/2-inch thick wedges
extra-virgin olive oil
Maldon or another flaky sea salt
small garlic clove, very finely chopped
A five-finger pinch of fresh mint leaves
A five-finger pinch of fresh marjoram leaves
In This Recipe
Halve the fennel bulb lengthwise and cut each halfway through the root nub (so the wedges stay intact) into about 1-inch-thick wedges.
Heat a grill or heavy grill pan over high heat until it’s good and hot, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add fennel, onion and radicchio. Cook, turning vegetables over occasionally, until fennel and onion are lightly charred in spots and cooked through, but still have a little bite, about 20 minutes. The radicchio is done when the stems are tender but still have a little bite, the leaves are wilty, the tips crackly, about 15 to 20 minutes.
As they finish, pop the grilled vegetables into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap until they’ve cooled fully. They’ll steam a bit and cook some more as they cool. Once they’ve all cooled, chop the vegetables into a mix of about 1/2-inch pieces, some smaller and some larger.
Pop the vegetables back into the bowl, add the oil, vinegar, salt and garlic, and stir really well. Toss the mint and marjoram together on a cutting board, give them a rough chop and stir them into the dressing. Store leftovers tightly sealed in the fridge for up to 5 days, though the herbs will fade.
Genius recipes surprise us and make us rethink cooking tropes. They're handed down by luminaries of the food world and become their legacy. They get us talking and change the way we cook. And, once we've folded them into our repertoires, they make us feel pretty genius too. Watch for new Genius Recipes every Wednesday morning on our blog, dug up by Food52's Senior Editor Kristen Miglore.