Grilled Radicchio Salad

 

I love bitter green salads of all kinds.  One of my favorite greens is Frissee but in Denver it is difficult to find. I also find grilling salads in the summer to be a real treat.  I love the slightly charred flavors of the lettuce edges that happens when you grill lettuces like Romaine and Radicchio.

The trick with grilling Radicchio is to not over-do it.  Radicchio can be quite bitter without adding any “char” flavor and this level of bitterness is not something that most Americans are used to in our everyday flavor profile.

This recipe is part of the May 2015 Paired Wine Dinner.

Grilled Radicchio Salad with Pink Peppercorns, Spicy Walnuts & Bacon Wrapped Apples

Pink Peppercorn Dressing

Ingredients

Make 1/1/2 cups

1/2 cup raw cashews

2 tsp dijon mustard

4 cloves poached garlic, minced

1/4 c water

1 tsp grated lemon zest

2 tbsp lemon juice

2 tsp pink peppercorns

1 tsp thyme

2 green onions, minced

4 tablespoons of minced fresh tarragon

2 tablespoons of minced fresh dill

1 c extra virgin olive oil

Salt & Pepper to taste

Instructions

Combine all ingredient in a blender except the olive oil.  Blend until well chopped.  While the blender is running on low slowly add the olive oil and blend until smooth. If the dressing is too thick to drizzle on the salad add a little more water.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  This dressing will keep for 1 week in the refrigerator.

Grilled Radicchio

Ingredients

2 cloves poached garlic, minced

2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

4 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper, ground

4 heads of radicchio, quartered lengthwise

1 tbsp pink peppercorns

1 tsp minced fresh chives, for garnish

Instructions

Preheat the grill or broiler.  Combine all ingredients in a bowl, add the radicchio quarters and coat with the marinade.  I put a skewer through the radicchio quarters to keep them from falling apart. Grill or broil for 1 – 2 minutes per side until slightly charred and wilted.

To serve, place the radicchio on it’s side and remove the skewer.  Drizzle with some aged balsamic vinegar and the Pink Peppercorn Dressing.  Add the chopped spicy walnuts over the salad and place 2 Bacon Wrapped Apple Slices near the Radicchio wedge for a garnish.

Bacon Wrapped Apple Garnish

Ingredients

2 Apples, washed, and cut into 8 pieces

8 slices of bacon cut in half

Instructions

Wrap the washed and cut apples with a strip of bacon.  Place in broiler for 1 – 2 minutes then flip over and broil the other side to crisp the bacon.  Drain on paper towels.  Serve 2 Bacon Wrapped Apples per person as a garnish to the Radicchio Salad.

Spicy Walnuts

Ingredients

1 c of blanched walnuts

1/4 c of powdered sugar

3 tbsp of sun flower and coconut oil blend, or other vegetable oil

1/4 to 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper depending on how spicy you like them

Instructions

Blanch the walnuts in boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon. Transfer to a bowl.

Meanwhile on the side you should have the sugar ready to coat the walnuts while they are still hot and a little wet.  I did rub them between my fingers so they get evenly coated.

In a frying pan heat the oil then add two table spoons of nuts only at one time.  Fry for ONLY 45 seconds- they burn fast.

Take out and rub with the cayenne pepper and the salt mixture.

 

The dressing in this recipe was inspired by a recipe in the Artful Vegan Cookbook, which I love.  They take Vegan cooking to a whole new level. The dishes in this cookbook use interesting ingredients presented in visually stunning recipes.

The Pink Peppercorns are key to this dressing.  They have a unique flavor that is both slightly sweet then slightly peppery on the palate.  The tarragon and dill and a lot of depth of flavor to the dressing and the cashews add a creamy texture like mayonnaise to the dressings consistency.

I find the dressing quite addictive. You could use it in so many different ways like dips for chips and vegetables or a topping for baked potatoes, vegetable fritters or zucchini pancakes.

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