• Grilled Sweet Onion & Arugula Salad with Grana Padano


Grilled Sweet Onion Salad

By Andrew Zimmern

This summery grilled sweet onion salad not only looks beautiful, but it’s also a cinch to put together—especially if you already have the grill fired up for a backyard barbecue.

Grilled Sweet Onion & Arugula Salad with Grana Padano

Servings: 8


Cooked Shallot & Red Wine Vinaigrette

  • 3 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard

Grilled Onion Salad

  • 4 large sweet yellow onions
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound arugula or other peppery cress or lettuce or mixed green.
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 4 ounce block of Grana Padano or Reggianno parmesan cheese, shaved into curls


Make the Vinaigrette

Place a small sauté pan over high heat and add 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the shallots, garlic and sugar.

Swirl pan briefly, cooking for about 30 seconds after you hear any sizzle. Promptly scrape the pan’s ingredients into a work bowl and whisk in the mustard followed by the vinegar, parsley and remaining oil.

Season with sea salt, ground white pepper and fresh lemon juice. Reserve.

Grill the Onions

Cut the onions in half at the waist and peel off the skins, keeping the root end intact so the onion stays together easily while grilling. Brush with the olive oil, season with sea salt and ground white pepper.

Grill over direct medium heat, cut side down until the onions are almost blackened, about 10 minutes. Flip, and cook on indirect heat for 10 more minutes. If you need to, you can finish cooking the onions for 10 minutes in a preheated 450-degree oven… maybe space is at a premium on your grill, who knows.

Compose the Salad

Cool onions, until cool enough to handle but still warm. Cut the root in off, and pop the ‘rings’ of the onion out and arrange on a platter. Add the arugula. Cut the tomatoes in half and arrange them around the greens. Sprinkle with the cheese shavings.

Drizzle with the vinaigrette and serve.

Photograph by Madeleine Hill. 

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