Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Give Me A Minute to Abzorba the Greek

Sometimes to make something new, all you need to do is change a known thing ever so slightly. This is the foundation of sauce cookery: taking a mother sauce, changing it up by adding something new and ending up with your own creation.

I am a big fan of adding a little protein to a salad. I like the change of textures, contrasting flavours and combining hot and cold. This is nothing new. In fact, adding chicken to a Caesar Salad probably dates as far back as the original salad itself (I can't say that definitively, but you get my point).

Every so often, I get sick of lettuce. Garden Salad. Caesar Salad. Spinach Salad. Arugula Salad. Even my favourite, Mache Salad. Today's recipe is a salad without lettuce. It is not uncommon to have a salad without leaves: pasta salad, potato salad, cous cous salad, even quinoa salad. There are many. Yet, I often forget that we can go further in that. How about a good ole vegetable salad? Sounds simple and refreshing, doesn't it?

To name a salad over a culture seems a bit silly to me. But I suppose there is no way around it. We have become so ingrained with these names that it would sound silly to change it. Or would it?

Mixed Vegetable Salad That Are Really Fruit Thrown Togther With a Simple Dressing, Topped with Feta Cheese, Olives and Steak

2 Cloves of Garlic, crushed
1 English Cuke, cut in half and in semi circles
2 Large Tomatoes, cut into thin slices
1 Red Onion, jullienne
1 Red Pepper, jullienne
1 Yellow Pepper, jullienne
1 Jar of Kalamata Olives
Small Package of Feta, crumbled or grated
400 ml Olive Oil
200 ml Lemon Juice
Blend of Dried Herbs: Oregano, Sage, Rosemary
3 lbs. Fast Fry Beef, from Inside Round

In a small bowl, marinate beef with half of the herbs, drizzle of oil and let sit for 1 hour.

In another small bowl, combine remainder of the herbs and lemon juice. Quickly whisk in oil. Season to taste.

In yet another bowl, combine veggies and dressing. Place in a serving bowl of your choice and top with feta and olives.

In a frying pan, heat small amount of oil on high heat. Sear both sides of beef for 1 minute. Place on cutting board and slice thinly. Top salad with beef.

Serve immediately.

Serves 6.

A Humble Chef's tip: leave the meat whole when searing. If you slice the beef raw, you can very easily dry out the meat.

Variation: this recipe works well with white fish and, of course, chicken.


Mary Moreau said...

Abzorba the Greek! LOL

Anonymous said...


Danielle said...

Yum. I'm definitely going to make this someday soon. Nothing like a little summery salad when we're heading into fall.

On that note, I love pumpkin, but have no idea what to do with it beyond pies and jack-o-lanterns. Thoughts?