Grilled Radish-and-Fennel Salad with Goat Cheese Toasts

Get out and grill a wonderful spring salad.

Grilled Radish-and-Fennel Salad with Goat Cheese Toasts
Photo: Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer; Prop Styling: Christine Keely
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
35 mins

These spring veggies are ready for their close-up. When you think of grilling, you probably imagine a big hunk of meat charring on an open fire. While we love grilling burgers, hot dogs, or a prime cut of steak, the grill can be used in so many more creative ways. Especially when it comes to vegetarian options. We're here to show you that the grill is a great place to infuse seasonal vegetables with big flavor. This Grilled Radish-and-Fennel Salad with Goat Cheese Toasts is a standout grilled veggie appetizer or side dish that everyone at the party can enjoy.

We'd be willing to bet that this grilled fennel salad is unlike anything you've ever tasted before. The fennel and radishes sweeten after being tossed in butter and grilled. Medium-to-large radishes work best in this recipe. If you can find them, use Easter egg radishes, which are a bit larger than the regular red kind and won't fall through the grill grates. Their mix of colors makes this salad look pretty, too.


  • 1 large fennel bulb 

  • 10 medium-size Easter egg radishes, trimmed and halved

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, divided

  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided

  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper, divided

  • 1 large garlic clove, grated (½ tsp.)

  • 8 (½-inch-thick) baguette slices

  • 4 ounces goat cheese, softened

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

  • 12 butter lettuce leaves (from 1 head)

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon grated Meyer or regular lemon zest plus 2 Tbsp. fresh juice (from 1 lemon)

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard


  1. Preheat grill to medium-high (400°F to 450°F). Cut and discard stalks from fennel bulb; remove and discard any browned spots on outside of bulb using a vegetable peeler. Stand fennel bulb upright on cutting board; cut straight down into 8 even slices, and place in a medium bowl. Add radishes, 3 tablespoons of the melted butter, ½ teaspoon of the salt, and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper; toss gently to coat. Place fennel and radishes on unoiled grates; grill, covered, until well marked and tender-crisp, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Remove from grill, and set aside until ready to use.

  2. Stir together garlic and remaining 3 tablespoons melted butter in a small bowl; brush evenly over both sides of bread slices. Arrange bread on unoiled grates; grill, uncovered, until well marked on bottoms, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from grill, and turn to face grilled side up. Stir together goat cheese, dill, and remaining ½ teaspoon pepper in a small bowl; spread evenly over top (grilled) sides of toasts. Return toasts, goat cheese side up, to grates; grill, covered, until bottoms of bread slices are toasted and cheese softens, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from grill.

  3. Arrange lettuce leaves on a large platter, and top with fennel and radishes. Whisk together oil, lemon zest and juice, mustard, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt in a bowl (or shake together in a sealed jar). Drizzle salad with dressing. Serve alongside toasts.

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