January and February is when radicchio, fennel and citrus are in their peak season. This salad is very simple, yet incredibly satisfying, and if put together swiftly enough, it’s also warm enough to eat on cold winter nights.
The trick is NOT to salt the vegetables before grilling, (as the water that they release with salt would make grilling difficult) but right after taking them off the grill pan. That’s why you should add just a pinch of salt to the dressing.
You can replace this yogurt tahini dressing with the dressing of your choice. But this is my favorite way to have a salad for dinner.
Servers two as dinner, 4 as a side.
- 500g chicken breast, cut into thin slices
- 1 long radicchio (or two small round ones), cut into 4 wedges
- 2 fennel bulbs, sliced lengthwise
- 2 oranges
- Olive oil to serve
- A pinch of salt
- Black pepper to serve (optional)
- For the dressing
- ½ cup plain yoghurt
- 1 heap tablespoon tahini
- Juice of ½ a lemon
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ garlic clove, peeled and grated (optional)
- A pinch of salt
Put your grill pan on the stove to heat and in the meantime prepare the oranges by cutting a thick slice off the top and the bottom. Then put your orange on a chopping board with one of the sides down, and cut off the peel and a bit of the flesh with a sharp knife all the way from the top to the bottom so that all the white parts are cut away too. Now slice the orange crosswise into 4 or 5 slices.
When your grill pan is very hot, start by grilling the slices of fennel. Have a tray lined with baking parchment ready to let your grilled veg rest when they’re ready. Don’t overcook the vegetables, as soon as charing lines appear on the fennel it’s done. Shouldn’t take more than two minutes for the fennel and even less for the radicchio. Proceed until all the fennel slices and wedges of radicchio are grilled. Now put your chicken fillet on the grill.
In the moment it takes for the chicken to cook, sprinkle some salt on the vegetable. When the chicken is cooked, cut it into thin slices on a chopping board and sprinkle that with salt too.
On a large platter, arrange first some of the grilled fennels, then the raddicchio, then more fennel, orange slices and in the end top it with all the chicken pieces.
Drizzle the salad with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with black pepper. Mix the ingredients of the dressing in a small bowl and serve on the side for each person to serve.
Saghar Setareh is an Iranian food photographer and writer and award-winning blogger who’s been living in Rome, Italy since 2007. She’s passionate about Iranian, middle eastern, mediterranean and Italian food. She regularly runs cooking classes and photography workshops, and contributes to websites and magazines as well. Currently Saghar is working on her debut cookbook that will be published by Murdoch Books in 2022. You find her at www.labnoon.com and @labnoon on Instagram and Twitter.