Grilled Fennel and Asparagus Salad

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 35 min
  • Active: 35 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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1 clove garlic, smashed to a paste with a pinch of salt

1 lemon, juice and zest 

1/4 cup Italian white wine vinegar 

1 teaspoon kosher salt 

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper 

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil 


2 bunches jumbo asparagus, trimmed

1 large bulb fennel, trimmed, halved

Canola oil, for oiling grill  

1 tablespoon olive oil 

1/4 cup pine nuts 

1/2 cup golden currants 

1/2 cup oil-cured olives, pitted, crushed 

3 cups baby arugula 

Pinch kosher salt 

Freshly ground black pepper

1 cup shaved Pecorino Romano


  1. Preheat a grill to medium-high.
  2. For the vinaigrette: In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the garlic paste, lemon juice and zest, vinegar, salt, pepper and chili flakes. Gradually whisk in the olive oil. Cover and set aside.
  3. For the salad: Add the asparagus and fennel to the vinaigrette and toss to coat well. Brush the grill with some canola oil. Place the vegetables on the grill and cook until just caramelized and charred on all sides, about 4 minutes. Set aside to cool briefly.
  4. Heat a small saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and the pine nuts; toast until just golden brown, about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool in the pan.
  5. Slice the asparagus on the bias into 1-inch pieces. Core the fennel halves, then slice them 1/8- inch-thick. Add the asparagus and fennel back to the vinaigrette. Add the currants, olives, toasted pine nuts, arugula, salt and pepper. Toss well. Let sit for 5 minutes to allow the salad to absorb the vinaigrette. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with the shaved Pecorino.