As spring teases us with delightful hints of warmer weather and local produce, like many we’ve begun to crave fresher tastes. One of our current favorites is this simple steak salad, which began with a bit of leftover steak that happened to occupy our house at the same time as a slightly overripe avocado and some of the first local radishes of the year.
As we contemplated our time-sensitive ingredients, we thought about the usual steak + sides, but Michelle has grown to like mixing meat and greens and began to search for a steak salad instead. She found a recipe from Grace Parisi, a trusted source in Food & Wine Magazine, and saw we had just about everything called for on hand. The oregano in our herb garden hasn’t come up yet and we didn’t have any in the refrigerator, so we added additional parsley and liked the results just fine. And, as always, we prefer the tang of a sherry vinegar to the called-for white wine type.
The dressing has the same creamy/herby/mayo-y vibe as Green Goddess (along with the plus-parslied green tint), but without the bass funk of anchovy (though that would be a good addition). With this stuff steak, avocado slices, radishes and bread cubes work with just about any type of salad greens. But a recent combo of watercress and radicchio seemed extra delicious.
CREAMY ITALIAN DRESSING
(adapted from Food & Wine Magazine, June 2005)
- 1 large garlic clove
- Pinch of Kosher salt
- 1-1/2 TB heavy cream or crème fraîche
- 1-1/2 TB mayonnaise
- 1 TB sherry vinegar
- 1 t. Dijon mustard
- 3 TB olive oil
- 1 TB finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Freshly ground pepper
Crush garlic with some salt in a mortar and pestle.
Put garlic/salt mixture and all remaining ingredients in a jar and shake well. This is a thick dressing. But, if it seems too thick, add some more oil and vinegar.
Toss a bit of dressing with bitter greens (watercress and radicchio are good, but you can also mix in chopped Romaine or other sturdy blander lettuce), sliced avocado, sliced radishes, homemade croutons and sliced steak.