Sunday, November 13, 2011

Grilled Salad

We finally broke down and got it, yesterday Kris picked up the new desktop (we still think the laptop may be recoverable). The desktop however was never that great to begin with. I replaced the graphics card three times in the 5 years that we had it, plus it was doing all kinds of crazy stuff... every few mornings I woke up to find a blue screen taunting me and if you bumped the tower the entire thing would shut down and take about 25 minutes to boot up again.

Wow computers have changed in the last few years, I had to look up what a terabyte was, plus this thing has a wide screen and speakers that are a little bigger than a couple of dry erase markers but sound great! and the color is as good as our TV. So I am spending some time learning the ins and outs of this fancy pants new technology. So my plan over the next couple of days is to visit all of my blogger friends, and get a post in. I feel like I have been out for so long and I have found that work computers don't always play well with blog websites, I swear if I see that flippity flappin Barracuda logo again I am going to scream.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I was on my typical summer grilling bender, grilled meat, grilled sweet potatoes then grilled dessert. I made a joke about having grilled everything except salad... well this is it:

Grilled autumn salad (serves 2)
2 Romaine Hearts cut in half
1 Small head of radicchio quartered
1 Fennel bulb halved
2 Apples cored and diced*
Sprinkle of shredded Cheddar

1 Cup Croutons

Apple Cider dressing

For the croutons
Dice up some French bread (I keep a bag in the freezer but if you are just making this dice up a cup of it)
1 TBLS butter
1 clove of garlic minced
salt and pepper to taste
sprinkle of Parmesan cheese

Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat, add garlic and cook until translucent. Put in the cubed bread and toss until coated. Add salt and pepper and continue to cook stirring occasionally until crispy (took me about 15 minutes)** While they are still hot add the Parmesan cheese and toss again

For the dressing
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1/3 cup Apple Cider*
1 TBLS Balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic minced
1 TBLS fresh fennel frond cut up

Put into a cup and hit with your handy emersion blender, set aside. This can be made a day ahead if you like.

Now here is how it all goes together light your grill and put the halved fennel bulb on, after that has been going for about 10 minutes add the radicchio then the Romaine hearts grill until everything is a little charred around the edges.

To serve:
Place the Romaine heart halves on your plate the top with sliced radicchio and the sliced fennel. Add the diced apples, fresh hot croutons then the cider dressing and cheese. I used cheddar because that is what i had in the kitchen but I think feta or goat cheese might have worked better.

*I used Honeycrisp apples and cider (next entry will explain why) but any crisp sweet apple will work
** You could make the croutons ahead but let’s face it warm croutons are sexy and you know it!


  1. Congrats on the new computer, Bryan. It always takes a while to get things the way you want them, so have fun while configuring! I fear that one day, with a new computer or new car, or whatever, that I'll be too old to figure it all out. :)
    Now this salad I won't have to figure out anything. I love the ingredients and the vinaigrette is perfect. Of course, croutons are the frosting on the cake.

  2. YUMMMMMMY! We love grilled salad, I have yet to try radicchio though, I am sure it is delicious! I love new technology, I am more likely to replace an old iPod than pair of worn out shoes!

  3. Welcome back! It sounds like you are having fun with your desktop!

    Grilled salad is a must now that I have read your ingredient list....and we have just the weather for it. However, you make me feel slack when I see all the trouble you go to with your croutons...maybe I should do something other than olive oil, salt and pepper and into the oven!