grilled radicchio fattoush

radicchio fattoush

A few summers ago, I was obsessed with grilling radicchio. It all started when some friends rented a cabin in the Poconos, where we spent a lot of time making double-decker s’mores, playing Settlers of Catan, and spying on the family of black bears that liked to hang out in the back yard (which was kind of terrifying, but also absurdly adorable from a distance). I volunteered to coordinate the food for our trip, and one of our favorites was Melissa Clark’s grilled sausages and radicchio, which was simple and perfect in every way. From then on, I worked grilled radicchio into just about any meal I could, and it’s been a perennial favorite ever since.

Grilling Radicchio

So a year ago, when I was still really new to blogging, I developed a recipe for grilled radicchio fattoush, but I got carried away piling on way too many ingredients, and the whole idea got kind of lost in my unfinished drafts of blogposts. Then recently, I revisited it, and came up with this more streamlined and thoughtful version, which I’m now super excited to share.

Fattoush is such a wonderfully tangy, acidic salad, so radicchio (especially grilled) works perfectly in place of romaine, because all the pomegranate molasses and sumac nicely balance the bitterness. Growing up, fattoush was at just about every single dinner at my grandparents’ house, so the classic version will always be my favorite, but it’s fun to mix things up once in a while.

This is a lovely salad for fall, because radicchio is in season and a little easier to find right now, and (if you ask me) October is the perfect month for grilling. It’s cool enough outside so that standing over a hot grill doesn’t feel like such a chore, but not so cold that the walk over to the grill is bracing. Plus, depending on where you live, you occasionally catch a day that’s nice enough for dinner outdoors.

Here in sunny Hong Kong, we have neither fall weather nor space for a grill, but we’re going to Tokyo to enjoy both next month, and we can’t wait. Simon’s going to be working a lot of the time, and I’ll be vacationing on my own for part of it, so feel free to message me with all your favorite solo Tokyo activities.

grilled radicchio fattoush

Grilled Radicchio Fattoush

yield: 8 to 10 servings
active time: 25 minutes
total time: 35 minutes
download a PDF to print

  • 2 medium heads radicchio (about 1 1/2 pounds, or 1 pound 5 ounces without the core)

  • olive oil

  • 2 pitas

  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses*

  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice

  • Salt

  • 2 tablespoons sumac (plus up to 1 tablespoon more for garnish, optionally)

  • 1 1/2 cups tomatoes in bite-sized pieces

  • 1 1/2 cups Persian cucumbers in bite-sized pieces (about 3 Persian cucumbers)

  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces (green is more traditional, so feel free!)

  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped mint

  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions

  • 1 1/4 cup coarsely chopped parsley

  1. Pre-heat the grill** over very high heat. Split each radicchio in half, from stem to end, leaving them as intact as possible. Coat the cut sides in olive oil.

  2. Once the grill is very hot, place the radicchio cut-side-down. Grill, uncovered, for a maximum of 4 minutes (don't let them become soft). Do not turn or flip the radicchio, and check on them frequently. As soon as they are charred, remove immediately and cool, cut-side-up on a plate. The radicchio should remain largely raw throughout and charred only on the cut side. Chop the radicchio into large bite-sized pieces and place in a large bowl.

  3. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Cut the pita bread into bite-sized pieces and coat in about 1 tablespoon olive oil. Spread out in an even layer on a sheet pan and bake for about 10 minutes, until they're golden brown and crunchy.***

  4. Whisk together the pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste), and sumac.

  5. Place the radicchio in a large salad bowl with the tomatoes, cucumbers, bell pepper, mint, green onions, and parsley. Give the dressing one more whisk, and then pour it over the salad. Toss everything together until everything's evenly coated. At the last minute, add the pita chips, toss it together, and serve immediately.

Meal-planning suggestions: To get the most out of heating up the grill, you can plan a whole grilled meal around this dish. Once the radicchio is done, send it inside for someone else to throw the salad together while you stay outside to grill more. It goes great with grilled veggie shish kebabs, grilled corn, grilled sweet potatoes, and grilled meat, especially sausages with toasted rolls.

Storage suggestions: If you are planning on keeping some of the salad as left overs or packing it to take to work, put some of the dressing in the bottom of a storage container, add the veggies, then the herbs and radicchio, and pack the pita chips in a sealed plastic bag on top. It should keep this way for a couple days. Once you're ready to eat, you can toss everything together and enjoy.

* In my opinion, pomegranate molasses isn’t totally essential for fattoush, so if you don’t have it, feel free to use a little bit of honey and a little extra lemon juice. Sumac, on the other hand, is essential.
** If you don’t have a grill, you can do this with a broiler or stovetop cast iron grill grate, but you won’t get quite as much char as a hot grill. Use the hottest possible temperature, set your broiler tray as close to the heat source as possible, and keep a close eye on them to make sure they’re not cooking through.
*** You can alternatively bake the pita chips with the residual heat of the grill to save energy, but be careful that they don’t burn, and make sure you use indirect heat (don’t place the pita chips directly on the grates).

radicchio fattoush

green bean salad with caramelized cherry tomatoes

roast green bean salad

The thing that makes this salad delicious is also the thing that makes it easy. You take a single sheet pan, and you slow-roast some cherry tomatoes over moderate heat, until their juices caramelize and nearly burn to the bottom of the pan. Then you remove the tomatoes to the salad bowl, don't wash the pan, and place the green beans right on top of the stuck-on bits of caramelized tomato juices. Throw them back in the oven (this time under the broiler), until they're blistered and charred in a few spots, and then briefly roll them around a little (to your liking) in the semi-melted tomato caramel. Once you notice the inky sepia swipes of tomato juices, you'll realize that what seemed burnt is actually just deeply browned and savory.

roast green bean salad
roast green bean salad
roast green bean salad
roast green bean salad

This salad was inspired by my grandmother's lubiyeh b'zetha (green beans in oil). It has a bunch of the same ingredients, but it's made with a totally different method, and I've added a few things to round it out as a salad. Part of what makes lubiyeh b'zetha itself is the method it's prepared with; the green beans are steam fried until al dente, which gives them both a sautéed flavor and lovely texture. So even though this salad is technically also green beans in oil, it tastes totally different from the original, and it's a nice variation on the same basic ingredients. But if you haven't tried the original, I highly recommend it, because it's a Middle Eastern classic for a reason.

Until summer is over, I'll be cooking with as many green beans as possible, freezing the lubiyeh b'zetha for winter, and enjoying as much of this salad as I can. While you might make big pots of stewed and steam-fried green beans to save for colder days, this salad is the perfect thing to cook right now, when you're looking for something a little lighter and brighter during the last few really hot weeks.

roast green bean salad

green bean salad with caramelized cherry tomatoes

download a PDF to print
serves 4
active time: 20 minutes
total time: 60 minutes

tomatoes

1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon salt, or to taste

  • Preheat the oven to 350° F convection.*

  • Coat the tomatoes in olive oil and sprinkle evenly with salt.

  • Spread the tomatoes out on a sheet pan,** and make sure they're all facing cut-side up.

  • Roast the tomatoes for 35 to 45 minutes, until the puddles of juice concentrate and become syrupy. Carefully lift them up with a spatula, and remove them to a salad bowl (but do not wash the pan!).

dressing

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon mustard
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 small clove garlic, crushed through a press or finely minced

  • Whisk everything together until very well combined. Set aside.

green beans

16 to 18 ounces green beans, washed, dried, stemmed, and broken into pieces
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 to 6 ounces feta cheese

  • Set the oven to broil. Coat the green beans in olive oil and sprinkle evenly with salt.

  • Spread the green beans out on the sheet pan on top of all the caramelized tomato juices.

  • Broil until blistered, a little charred, and somewhat softened (about 5 to 10 minutes, but it could be even less depending on your broiler).

  • Momentarily toss the green beans in the (now slightly dissolved) tomato juices. I like to just run the spatula down the middle once or twice to coat them a little (but do not scrape up the tomato bits—they're extremely strong, and you just want a light coating), and then empty them into the salad bowl.

  • Crumble the feta into the salad bowl, drizzle with dressing, and gently toss everything together, just until combined (don't over-mix or the tomatoes and feta will dissolve).

* If you don't have a convection oven, they might take a little longer, and you might need to rotate them once halfway through.
** For the cleanest flavor, it's best to use stainless steel instead of aluminum, but I often use aluminum and it turns out totally fine. There's a good Cooks Illustrated article on the subject.

roast green bean salad