Chef Rick Bayless grilling on his Kalamazoo Hybrid Grill

Grilling with Rick Bayless at his Chicago Home

Lauren Jones, Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet | 01/30/2015 | Grilling

Looking for a grilling recipe that features delicious late summer produce? Watch Chef Rick Bayless make his Grilled Tomato Salad with Smoky Knob Onions and Sesame on his Kalamazoo Hybrid Fire Grill. Bayless invited WTTW’s Chicago Tonight show into his home and cooked for host Eddie Arruza, using produce from his own garden. Click below to watch the video.

Rick Bayless’ Grilled Tomato Salad with Smoky Knob Onions and Sesame


  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 to 2 chipotle chiles en adobo, stemmed, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or olive oil, plus a little extra for grilling the vegetables
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic or sweet sherry vinegar (or 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar plus 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Salt)
  • Salt
  • 2 knob (or green) onions (Bayless suggests onions with a 1-inch bulb for superior taste and texture), roots and withered tops trimmed off, wilted outer leaves removed
  • 2 pounds firm-ripe round tomatoes, cored and sliced 1/2-inch thick


Place the garlic in a small, microwave safe dish, cover with water and microwave at 100 percent for 1 minute. In a blender, combine the garlic, chipotles, oils and vinegar (and Worcestershire if you’re using it).  Blend until smooth and pour into a small bowl.  Taste and season generously with salt: usually a scant teaspoon. 

Heat one side of a gas grill to medium-high and the other side to low. Or light a charcoal fire and let it burn until the charcoal is medium-hot and covered with white ash; bank most of the coals to one side. (If you’re using a grill pan, heat it over medium-high and cook the vegetables until richly grill-marked, then transfer them to a rimmed baking sheet in a 325-degree oven to finish cooking).

Cut the green/knob onions in half where green meets white. Thinly slice the white parts, scoop into a small bowl and stir in the dressing. Using a brush or an oil sprayer, lightly oil the onion tops and both sides of each tomato slice.  First, grill the onion tops, starting them on the hot side of the grill to brown, then, moving them to the cooler side to coast along to a beautifully soft sweetness.

Chop them into 1/4-inch pieces and add to the dressing bowl. Next, sprinkle both sides of the tomato pieces with salt and grill them: I grill the tomatoes on the hottest part of the grill, about 2 minutes per side, making sure they’re well oiled (if the tomatoes are soft-ripe, they are harder to work with on the grill.

Arrange a portion of the grilled tomatoes (warm or cooled to room temperature) on each of four plates. Stir the dressing and onions well and spoon on as much as you like (cover and refrigerate the rest for another salad). Sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds and you’re ready to eat.


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