Grilled Pesto, Pine Nut Potato Salad

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“This is a great twist of a simple classic dish. Grilled potatoes, radicchio, and onion with toasted pine nuts and a pesto dressing. Very simple. Fresh diced celery and a few scallions add a fresh flavor to this great dish. Served warm, room temp or cold. It is perfect summertime BBQ fare. I love to serve this on a big platter with the grilled radicchio and onions on the bottom and top with with the roasted potato salad.”

Ingredients Nutrition

  • Base Layer
  • 1 head radicchio, cut in quarters
  • 1 large onion, cut in thick slices
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • Salad
  • 1 12 lbs red potatoes, cut in 1/2-inch thick slices for grilling (skins on)
  • 4 scallions, fine chopped
  • 12 cup celery, include the leafs, fine chopped
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted and chopped
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • Dressing
  • 14 cup mayonnaise
  • 14 cup pesto sauce (store bought is fine or you can make your own)
  • Garnish
  • 1 lemon, cut in wedges (squeeze 1 lemon wedge over the potatoes)


  1. Dressing -- I make this first and just set to the side as I get ready to grill the vegetables.
  2. Pine Nuts -- In a small dry sauce pan, add the pine nuts and heat to medium high. Toast the nuts until they begin to get lightly brown. You can smell the nuts when they become toasted. Watch them, they don't take long and you don't want them to burn. Remove to a small plate or paper towel to cool. They are done.
  3. Potatoes, Onion and Radicchio -- Simply brush the potato slices, radicchio and onion slices with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill on medium heat (inside or outside grill) until the potatoes are fork tender but not falling apart, the onion slices are golden brown and tender and the radicchio gets a nice sear and becomes slightly tender but not soft, you still want a crisp texture.
  4. Radicchio and Onions -- Chop up the onions and the radicchio. Toss together in a medium size bowl with a little salt and pepper if needed, and just a drizzle of olive oil. NOT too much, just a light drizzle (optional). Transfer to a large serving bowl or platter.
  5. Salad -- To that same bowl you used for the radicchio, add the potatoes, celery, scallions and 1/2 of the dressing and toss. The potatoes will break up slightly as you toss the salad. Add as much dressing as you like. I don't like too much dressing, but add what you like.
  6. Serve -- Add the creamy potato salad over the radicchio and onions and finish with the pine nuts. I often drizzle a little olive oil on top as a garnish. Squeeze a lemon wedge and put the others around the salad.
  7. Note: As I said, warm, room temp or chilled - it is a great twist on a traditional potato salad.

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