Grilling bitter lettuce adds a hint of smoke and cuts some of the bitterness. The thick, minty yogurt dressing for this salad further cuts the bitterness of the greens and adds a cooling flavor. Topped with garlicky toasted hazelnuts and sweet raisins, this well-balanced salad is the perfect summertime side dish.
To learn more, read "King of Leon's."
Grilled Radicchio Salad with Yogurt and Hazelnuts
Recipe adapted from Ari Kolender, Leon's Oyster Shop, Charleston, SC
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
For the Yogurt Dressing:
1 tablespoon olive oil
¾ cup diced yellow onion (1 small onion)
Kosher salt, to taste
1 cup whole-fat plain yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon hazelnut-infused oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped mint
For the Toasted Hazelnuts:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup raw hazelnuts, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, very thinly sliced
1 thyme sprig
For the Salad:
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 head radicchio, cut into 8 wedges
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
¼ cup golden raisins
¼ cup torn mint leaves, for garnish
1. Make the yogurt dressing: In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add the onions. Season with a pinch of salt and sweat until translucent and tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl, set aside and let cool.
2. While the onions cool, toast the hazelnuts: Wipe the skillet that was used for the onions clean and return to medium heat. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil and add the hazelnuts. Cook, stirring often, until toasted, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic slices and thyme sprig, and continue to cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat. Reserve the oil, letting it cool for a few minutes.
3. Once the onions are cool, fold in the yogurt, lemon juice and minced garlic. Strain 1 tablespoon of oil from the toasted hazelnuts and fold into the yogurt. Fold in the mint and set aside. Makes about 2 cups.
4. Make the salad: Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill to medium-high heat and add 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Season the radicchio wedges with salt and pepper, and grill, turning once, until lightly charred and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes.
5. Arrange the grilled wedges on plates and spoon the dressing over. Top with the toasted hazelnuts. Garnish with raisins and mint leaves, and serve.