The gardens are producing and they’re producing lettuce! We love salads, so this is great news for us, but I’ve noticed that not everyone shares our enthusiasm. In speaking with friends and family, the general consensus appears to be that lettuce based salads are a side dish, and often a boring one at that.
A side dish only!? A boring dish!? Okay, okay…I may have also shared this opinion once. Adding dressing helps and adding cheese to pretty much anything can help. However, if you find yourself with an abundance of lettuce and other garden veggies and the need to shake things up a bit, let me share with you one of my husband’s tried and true salad recipes.
We purchased most of our ingredients from a local place for this delicious dinner last night, because everything except our early lettuce is still growing up and pushing flowers and we don’t raise grass fed beef on this farm 😉
HOFFMAN’S FARMHOUSE STEAK AND POTATO SALAD
- Four medium potatoes, cubed into one inch pieces & roasted
- Three heads of lettuce (we like Romain for this recipe) washed drained and chopped
- One medium cucumber quartered lengthwise and sliced into thin half moons.
- Half of one large red onion, thinly sliced
- One quarter pound green beans, cut into bite sized pieces and blanched (see directions)
- Two handfuls of cherry tomatoes, each cut in half
- One pound of seared steak tips
- Salt and pepper for seasoning
- Rosemary & thyme or herbs de Provence for seasoning
- Olive oil
- Unsalted butter
- Oil and vinegar dressing
- Feta or Parmesan cheese for topping
- Fill up a foil lined sheet pan with the cubed potatoes. Season potatoes with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, a healthy dash of sea salt and cracked pepper (sprinkle beautifully as my husband likes to say; quoting his beloved Gordon Ramsay). We also like to add a tbsp of rosemary and thyme or a tablespoon of herbs de Provence to mix up the recipe.
- Rub all of this over the potatoes, coating evenly.
- Spread the potatoes evenly over the foil lined pan. NOTE: If you find that some potatoes are resting on top of other potatoes instead of flat on the pan, remove those. You don’t want to overcrowd and steam these beauties.
- Bake at 375 for 35-45 minutes, depending on your crispness preference.
THE RAW VEGGIES
I find cherry tomatoes to be so beautiful…
- Wash, drain and chop up three heads of romaine lettuce.
- Quarter a cucumber lengthwise and sliced into thin half-moons.
- One large red onion cut in half. Place the half flat side down. Thinly slice the onion.
BLANCH THOSE BEANS
- Cut a quarter pound of green beans to bite size pieces. Add four cups of water to a medium sauce pan. Salt the water generously. I use about two teaspoons.
- Bring the water to a boil. Add the green beans and boil for three minutes.
- Quickly drain the water and place the green beans directly into ice cold water.
- Once they’ve cooled, drain the water again and let them dry. They should be cooked but still have a nice crunch and pretty green color.
- Halve two handfuls of cherry tomatoes.
- Let the steak rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Pat the steak dry. Rub the steak with a mixture of sea salt, pepper and any other herbs you’d like. Season to taste. We usually mix about 1 tbsp salt and pepper in a bowl and rub it in, coating the steak well on all sides.
- We tend not to add any garlic or onion and usually leave one small piece unseasoned, so Lupin can have a little treat herself after we eat.
Lupin keeps a watchful eye on the steaks to make sure we don’t over-cook them…
- Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Coat well with olive oil and melt 1/2 tbsp of butter in the oil, tilting the pan to coat the bottom. When the pan is hot, add the steak. One trick I use to see if the pan is hot is to flick a little water into it. If it sizzles, it’s go time.
- Sear the steak for 5 minutes on each side if you’d like it on the medium side of medium rare.
- Once cooked on both sides, remove from the heat and let the steak rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes.
- Slice the steak into bite size pieces (my husband likes to slice them on the larger side).
- Toss the raw veggies and lettuce with some dressing (we prefer oil and vinegar) and coat it to your preference.
- Plate the salad, add the blanched beans, potatoes and steak and top it all off with some feta cheese (I like shaved Parmesan too).
I’ve mentioned before that I’m a true red, white and blue meat and potatoes girl. I grew up with lots of fresh garden veggies and loved them, but I didn’t grow up with a veggie base for the main dish…unless you count a big plate of mashed potatoes with chicken and green beans towered on top.
This salad satisfies me. Its a medley of all of the good stuff and it’s delicious.
If you’re looking for a way to use some of those extra veggies from your garden and you want to be satisfied, not just *full,* then I highly recommend you give my husband’s recipe a try. The veggies we use in this recipe are the ones that we find ourselves overwhelmed with come summer.
We’ve had a lot of luck with green beans, lettuce, cherry tomatoes and cucumbers. They’re not too difficult.
We’ve got onions and potatoes growing right now, but this is our first year growing those. Fingers crossed they come out healthy!
I hope everyone enjoys this salad as much as we do!