Beef and horseradish is one of my favourite things. However, it’s not something I’d associate with salad. More with a massive roasted joint of meat, lots of crispy, beautifully rendered and seasoned fat served with lots of roast vege and maybe even Yorkshire puddings.
Weather-wise, we’re not quite into roasted meat territory here. But this salad is a great way of enjoying beef and horseradish even if you’re cooking on the BBQ. It doesn’t need to be served hot – we had this as part of our Easter feast and the meat was cooked in advance and left to rest. The salad (bar the avocado) was prepped in advance, as was the dressing. This meant when it came to serving, all I had to do was cut the meat and the avocado and we were good to go.
I daresay this is pretty healthy but it’s also delicious and easy. I recommend cutting the onion and cucumber using a mandolin – otherwise slice as finely as possible. You might want to hold off chopping the cherry tomatoes until the last minute too.
This recipe is based on one I found on Taste. I’ve made changes to suit the household’s preferences.
Get the steak out of the fridge around half an hour before cooking. Heat your favourite steak cooking pan with fat of choice (we use olive oil, my parents swear by a mix of olive oil and butter). Season the steak well and cook in the hot pan until done to your liking. Don't over crowd the pan - if you've got closer to 800g of steak you'll need to do at least 2 batches.
Set the steak aside to rest (covered with tin foil).
To make the dressing, mix the sour cream, horseradish and lime juice. This is a thick dressing - not a pourable one - so you don't have to add loads of lime juice.
To create the salad, in a large bowl toss the leaves, onion and cucumber. Spread evenly over a large serving platter. Before serving add the sliced avocado and the quartered cherry tomatoes.
Finely slice the beef and add this to the top of the salad. Dot the dressing over and serve immediately.
Pass the dressing separately so people can add more if they wish.
Today, for the first time this ‘summer’ (it’s not actually summer yet), the mercury topped 40°C. Tomorrow’s 35 seems almost chilly by comparison (cough, splutter).
So it would seem that salad season is well and truly upon us.
I would love to pretend that we routinely eat interesting salads but … woooah, that is so not true. We throw some lettuce, tomato and cucumber on a plate. Maybe there’s also avocado or spring onions. And if I’ve thought ahead and been able to track down both Australian feta and olives then they’ll be on the plate too. I don’t like dressing, so that doesn’t even get a look in.
And you know what? I actually LIKE salad.
Anyway, my slender repertoire now has an extension.
A friend organised a ‘cookbook club afternoon’ (for want of a more pithy term). A book was chosen (Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem) and we were all to select different recipes and then come together and share our creations.
Circumstances meant I knew I was going to pushed for time so I picked a salad (it turned out that this was horrendously lazy when compared with other efforts …). In haste I chose the baby spinach and date salad. It ticked all my boxes – easy to shop for, quick to make. Job done.
Come Sunday morning I was able to throw this together, keeping aside the dressing to stir through at the last minute. While I was concerned about the sweetness of the dates, they worked really well and the vinegar and onion helped offset the sweetness. The almonds, of course, added crunch.
You can easily make this in advance – not too much because the pita won’t retain its crispness – but it’s definitely a ‘prep first thing in the morning’ kind of dish. And it tastes really good too!
100g pita bread, torn into generous bite sized pieces
75g almonds, roughly chopped
2 tsp sumac
½ tsp chilli flakes (or to taste, but don't go crazy)
150g baby spinach leaves
2 tbsp lemon juice
Place the sliced onion, dates and vinegar in a small bowl and leave for about 15-20 minutes.
Heat the butter and 1tbsp oil in a pan and add the pita bread and nuts. Toast until the almonds take on colour and the pita gets all lovely and crispy. Remove from the heat and stir through the sumac and chilli.
Drain any remaining vinegar from the onion and dates (in my case, there was pretty much none).
Toss the spinach with the dates and onion and pita and almond mix.
When ready to serve, pour over the remaining 1tbsp of oil and lemon juice (I actually shook them together) and season to taste.
While the silly season is over (and thank goodness for that – I anticipate it will take me a good couple of months to recover!) summer feels like it’s just ramping up.
Here in South Australia, the mercury has already topped 44°C and brought with it an awful and devastating bushfire and we are facing some more scary (that’s “hot”) conditions this week.
This very easy chickpea salad is a perfect dinner in its own right on a hot night, or an ideal accompaniment to a BBQ. It’s also very flexible. At some point I read about a chickpea salad but I failed to find the recipe. However, a quick google reveals a ton of ideas. I think avocado would be a brilliant addition to this salad but in order to maintain a bright and colourful appearance you would have to add it at the last minute. This was no good for me as I was taking this to a New Year’s Eve BBQ and needed it made in advance. Add in any fresh herbs you have access to – I was intending to use mint from the garden but forgot (which I now regret, as the mint suffered during the heat). Consider the recipe that follows a bare-bones starting point and flesh it out as you wish. If you have fresh, warm, sunkissed tomatoes from the garden, why not add those? Work with what you have. In cooler months, tossing through some roasted vegetables such as pumpkin or courgette/zucchini could work well too.
For the dressing, I used some Cobram Estate chilli infused oil which I was given as a Christmas present. This gave the salad a lovely, warming chilli kick without being over the top. I have not been a big user of flavoured oils in the past, but this one definitely gets a bit tick from me.