For all intents and purposes Florida did not have a winter, and now summer is so eager to make its presence known that the soft cool breezes of spring have blown aside and replaced with hot, still air. Perfect weather for cool, refreshing salads; salads that take a minimum of time to prepare but are full of delicious fresh vegetables, light dressings and, at times, some kind of meat. Kristine found and passed along this Cooking Light recipe to me several years ago and got lost in my always growing pile. I came across it again this spring in a copy of “the best of Cooking Light 4” and moved it to the top of that pile.
Thai Steak Salad
1/3 cup fresh lime juice (about 3 limes)
1 ½ tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
1 to 2 teaspoons chili paste with garlic
1 (1 ½-pound) flank steak, trimmed
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
3 cups trimmed watercress (about 2 bunches)
1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
½ cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
½ cup julienne-cut carrot
2 tablespoons finely chopped unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
- To prepare dressing, combine first 5 ingredients in a bowl; stir well with a whisk.
- To prepare steak, heat a large nonstick skillet or grill pan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Rub both sides of steak with pepper. Add steak to pan; cook 6 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove from pan; place on a cutting board. Cover loosely with foil; let stand 5 minutes. Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices. Place steak in a bowl. Drizzle with half of the dressing; toss well.
- To prepare salad, combine watercress and next 5 ingredients (watercress through carrot) in a large bowl. Drizzle watercress mixture with remaining dressing, and toss well. Divide the salad evenly among 6 plates; arrange steak evenly over salad. Sprinkle each serving with 1 teaspoon peanuts. Yield 6 servings.
CALORIES 230 (40% from fat); FAT 10.3g (sat 4g, mono 4.2g, poly 0.9g); PROTEIN 23.1g; CARB 9.5g; FIBER 2G; CHOL 57mg; IRON 3.3mg; SODIUM 327mg; CALC 68mg.
This was my first time to make Thai cuisine so I knew I would have to purchase ingredients uncommon in my pantry. The ingredients were easily found in my store’s ethnic aisle. Of course, that left me with the dilemma of needing to find other Thai recipes to use up the Thai fish sauce and the chili sauce with garlic. Kristine and I talked about that a bit and she assured me that she prepares Thai food frequently and would send along several other recipes for me to try. I also ran into a little difficulty locating fresh ginger and so settled on jarred, sliced ginger.
The only change I made to the recipe was using a combination of field greens and baby spinach for the salad. Randy and I were leaving town for a few days and I worried that the greens would be wilted when we returned.
It was warm the afternoon I prepared the salad but the meat only took 6 minutes on each side not nearly long enough to heat up the kitchen or me. While the meat was searing I prepared the vegetables and dressing.
The meat cooked up and was beautifully browned on the outside and just a soft color of pink on the inside. The meat was tender and easily cut into thin strips.
I loved the coolness of the ginger and the faint sense of heat from the chili sauce. What I really enjoyed though was the wonderful taste of the mint leaves hiding among the other greens. I found the mint to be very refreshing.
Randy and I both agreed that we would enjoy this salad again once in a while during the summer.