Grilled fig salad
From test kitchen manager Noelle Carter
1/3 cup walnut halves
Best-quality olive oil
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme
1/4 teaspoon chopped rosemary
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
6 tablespoons best-quality olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
8 ripe figs
1 head radicchio
1 large head fennel
4 ounces fresh goat cheese (one small log)
1. Toss the walnuts
with one-fourth teaspoon salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil in a small bowl. Spread the nuts on a sheet pan and toast in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl,
whisk together the shallots, thyme, rosemary, vinegar and 6 tablespoons olive oil. Season with one-half teaspoon salt and a grind of black pepper, or to taste. This makes a scant two-thirds cup vinaigrette.
3. Halve the figs
lengthwise. Remove any wilted outer leaves from the radicchio and slice it lengthwise into eight wedges. Trim the top off the fennel, and slice it crosswise into half-inch strips, discarding the core.
4. Brush the radicchio
wedges with a little of the vinaigrette and place them on an oiled grill heated over medium-high heat. Grill the wedges for about 2 minutes on each side, until slightly wilted with defined grill marks. Remove and reserve in a warm place. Do the same with the fennel.
5. For the figs,
brush the cut side with the vinaigrette and place the halves on the grill, cut-side down. After about 30 seconds, rotate slightly and cook for another 30 seconds.
6. Divide the radicchio,
fennel and figs evenly among four plates. Crumble the goat cheese evenly over the salads, and scatter the toasted walnuts over each serving. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of the remaining vinaigrette over each salad. Serve immediately.