Grilled Salad

I don’t know about you, but when summer begins I start thinking about salad.  Time to put away all those soup recipes I have been wanting to try–they’ll have to wait until fall.

Now, I love a simple tossed salad with just super fresh greens and homemade vinaigrette.  Or a delicious potato or grain salad, which are so nice with something from the grill.  But my favorite type of summer salad is one that is a complete meal.  It is hearty and filling without being heavy at all.

The inspiration for this salad came from the July & August 2011 issue of Cook’s Illustrated magazine.  The “complete guide to grilling vegetables” article mentioned how to grill endive and radicchio, among many others.  This got me thinking–what if you could combine the delicious smokiness of food cooked on the grill with the freshness of a salad?  I decided to make the grilled radicchio and endive the base for the salad, and added grilled sweet Italian sausage to provide protein.  Also, I liked how the sweetness of the sausage would balance against the bitterness of the grilled greens.  I filled out the salad with some other Italian-style ingredients which added color, crunch, and more flavor.  This salad was the perfect end to a nice summer day.

Grilled Salad

  • 2 heads radicchio, each cut into 4 equal wedges
  • 4 Belgian endive, each halved lengthwise
  • 6 sweet Italian sausages
  • 1 cup croutons
  • 2 roasted red peppers, roughly chopped
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into cubes
  • 2 Tablespoons capers
  • 4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 6 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • salt & pepper
  1. Heat the grill to medium-high heat.  Clean and oil the grill grates.
  2. Drizzle the radicchio and endive with 2 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Grill the sausages until completely cooked through.  Grill the endive and radicchio for 5 minutes, turning the endive once during grilling and the radicchio three times (so that each side of the wedge gets some time toward the flames).
  4. Cut the sausages into 1 inch sections.  Remove the cores from the radicchio wedges.  Separate the endive into its leaves, discard the core.
  5. Arrange the radicchio and endive leaves in the bottom of each serving plate.  Top with the sausage, roasted red peppers, croutons, mozzarella and capers.  Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and remaining olive oil (each plate should get 1 teaspoon vinegar and 1 Tablespoon oil).  Season with salt and pepper.

Serves 4

Time: 40 minutes

Note: I used a chicken Italian sausage, but feel free to substitute with pork if you’d like.


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