This Salad Dressing Is Made with a Whole Head of Grilled Garlic — And It’s as Delicious as It Sounds

(Image Credit: Mia Yakel/Kitchn)

If you, like me, find yourself cranking up the oven temperature whenever you roast broccoli to ensure the florets get as crispy as possible, it’s time to head outside to the grill. Grilling broccoli yields all the best parts about roasting — crunchy charred florets and tender stems — with the bonus of smoky flavor. Plus, you don’t have to worry about heating up the kitchen.

But broccoli isn’t the only veggie that stars in this salad. Grilling radishes mellows their spicy kick, draws out their natural juices, and gives them smoky char, yielding mildly sweet, bite-sized nuggets that pair perfectly with the crispy broccoli and savory dressing.

(Image Credit: Mia Yakel/Kitchn)

Whole Grilled Garlic Is the Flavor Booster You’ll Use All Summer (Starting with This Salad Dressing)

This grilling season has certainly been one of discovery. I’ve tossed just about every vegetable on the grill, played around with flatbread dough, and figured out a whole new way to test my grill for hot spots. But one of my most favorite (and valuable) learnings is that you can grill a whole head of garlic, similar to how you’d roast one.

To speed up the process (roasting a whole head of garlic can take close to an hour), I cut the head of garlic in half before drizzling with oil, seasoning with salt, wrapping in foil, and tossing onto the grill over indirect heat. In just over 30 minutes, you’ll unwrap the foil to reveal caramelized, buttery-soft garlic cloves — perfect for mashing into a salad dressing. Paired with umami-packed miso, toasted sesame oil, and a splash of maple syrup, this will likely be the best salad dressing you’ve made all year. In fact, the recipe yields a bit extra — perfect for tossing with leftover salad, or using on other grilled veggies or grilled chicken.

But whole grilled garlic goes far beyond dressing. Smear the cloves onto a grilled and oiled baguette for garlic bread (or the base of a bruschetta), smash into hummus, stir into mashed potatoes, or serve with cheese and crackers.

(Image Credit: Mia Yakel/Kitchn)

A note about the veggies: While you can grill either or both of the veggies in a grill basket or perforated grill pan, I had success placing them directly on the grill. To keep them from falling through the grates, slice the broccoli into long spears (this will also give you something to grasp with tongs as you flip), and keep the greens on the radishes. Some will burn and detach from the radishes, but the charred greens that do stay attached add delicious flavor to the salad.

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Grilled Broccoli and Radish Salad with Garlicky Miso Dressing

Serves4

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes to 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil, plus more for the garlic

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more for the garlic

  • 2 heads

    broccoli (1 to 1 1/2 pounds total), ends trimmed, stems peeled, and sliced into long spears

  • 1 bunch

    radishes with greens attached (1 pound), halved if large

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • Toasted sesame seeds or chopped roasted peanuts, for serving

For the dressing (makes 2/3 cup):

  • 1 head

    garlic, halved crosswise

  • 1/4 cup

    rice vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons

    white or yellow miso paste

  • 2 tablespoons

    toasted sesame oil

  • 1 tablespoon

    maple syrup

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

Instructions

  1. Heat an outdoor grill to medium-high, direct heat (400 to 450ºF). Once hot, turn off one of the burners for indirect heat. (For charcoal grills, keep the hot coals on one side of the grill for indirect grilling.) Place both halves of the garlic head (from the dressing ingredients) in the middle of a piece of foil, drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil, and sprinkle with a big pinch of salt. Wrap the garlic in the foil and place on the grill over indirect heat. Cover and grill until a center clove of garlic is completely soft when pierced with a paring knife, 35 to 40 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, toss the broccoli and radishes with remaining 2 tablespoons oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. When the garlic is almost done, place the broccoli and radishes on the grill in a single layer over direct heat. Grill, turning occasionally, until charred in spots and crisp tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

  3. Unwrap the garlic and squeeze the cloves into a large bowl; mash with a fork. Add the remaining dressing ingredients, season with salt and pepper, and whisk to combine. Transfer half the dressing to an airtight container.

  4. Add the broccoli and radishes to the bowl with the remaining dressing and toss to coat. Arrange on a platter and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds or peanuts. Serve with more dressing, if desired. Save the remaining dressing for leftovers, or to use on other grilled veggies or chicken.

Recipe Notes

Storage: The dressing can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 4 days.

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