Made from locally-sourced ingredients, this Asian steak salad with sesame lime vinaigrette from "Texas on the Table" cookbook combines the elements of comfort and freshness.
Disclaimer: While I received a complementary copy of the cookbook, I was not compensated financially to write this review. All opinions are 100% my own.
November is upon us, and I can announce with great enthusiasm that it finally feels like fall here in Austin! I awoke to an unexpectedly crisp morning that begged for me to put on a sweater, tie up my shoelaces, and run.
I don't know why logic and I are having such a tough time getting along these days. When it was well in the upper 80s last week, I made a bowl of slow cooker vegetarian chickpea and lentil chili even though I was clearly not in need of added warmth. And then on a day like today, I prepare a light, refreshing yet hearty Asian steak salad. Step back, logic. I make my own rules, and this salad was the perfect choice.
The recipe is one of 150 uniquely and carefully chosen recipes from the newly released cookbook, "Texas on the Table: People, Places, and Recipes Celebrating the Flavors of the Lone Star State." Thank you, University of Texas Press, for your generosity in providing us with a cookbook that will be proudly displayed on our shelf and cherished for years to come. Hook 'em (says the Hungryman).
Maybe it's all that time spent studying Texas history growing up, but I have this quiet, indwelling pride for the Lone Star State (was I brainwashed? 😉 ). So to see the current food landscape/trends mixed in with the deep, rich tradition of Texas cooking captured so beautifully in this book...I was engaged for quite some time reading through the stories and admiring the gorgeous photos. I was especially intrigued reading about the growth of the wine industry in Texas (There are almost 300 wineries!). I had no idea that there are regions capable of accommodating grapes from southern France, Spain and Italy.
Olives in Texas? Apparently so! Winner of a silver medal at the 2012 Los Angeles International Olive Oil Competition, Texas Olive Ranch is one of more than 60 olive orchards in the state. I could go on and on with tidbits like these (stories about artisan cheesemakers, oystermen, orchards...) , but I haven't even gotten to the recipe yet!
The Hungryman and I share the same commitment as the author - Supporting local producers is not only the right thing to do, but it transforms the way food tastes. For a while, we subscribed to a CSA box from Johnson's Backyard Garden, and let me tell you, I could have gone into rabbit mode and just eaten everything raw without any kind of preparation. That's how fresh and delicious their produce is. So while a salad may be as simple as this one (mixed greens, carrots, beets, cucumbers, and grilled beef), with fresh, locally-sourced, quality ingredients, it becomes something special.
I had to enlist the help of the Hungryman for shredding the beets and carrots. He prepared the components while I made the dressing, which was the easy part, actually.
While the recipe calls for watermelon radishes, I couldn't get my hands on any this time around. I'm very curious as to their taste, however, so I shall def be on the lookout. Even without the radish slices and fried wonton strips, the salad was exquisite. Bright, refreshing and loaded with flavor! I was especially fond of the dressing with the aromatic toasted sesame oil and the pleasantly sour rice wine vinegar. There's no mistaking the Asian intention in this salad. We used an all-natural, grass-fed beef which added just enough heft to make this dish a complete meal.
I can't wait to continue cooking my way through this book and learning more about the food that makes our state so unique. If this sparked an interest at all, head on over to the University of Texas Press to order yourself a copy!
- 1 ½ pounds bison rib eye or sirloin
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 pound organic spring mix
- ½ cup shredded or julienned carrots
- ½ cup shredded or julienned beets
- ½ cup very thinly sliced radishes preferably watermelon radishes
- 2 cucumbers seeded and sliced
- 1 cup shredded fried wontons (optional)
- 2 tablespoons toasted white and black sesame seeds
- ⅓ cup rice wine vinegar
- ¼ cup red wine
- juice and zest from 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons tamari
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- ¼ cup regular sesame oil
- 1 to 2 tablespoons honey
- sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- Trim the steak of excess fat and tendons; set aside. Combine the sesame oil, salt and pepper, blending well. Rub the mixture into the meat on all sides; set aside while assembling the salad.
- Make the dressing. Combine the vinegar, rice wine, lime juice and zest, and tamari in blender; blend until smooth. With the blender running, slowly add the oils in a small stream through the top until well blended. Add the honey, salt, and pepper to taste; blend just to combine. Set aside.
- Sear the steak to desired degree of doneness. Let the steak rest for about 5 minutes before slicing thinly.
- Assemble: Place the steak slices on one side of each plate; place the greens and veggies around the steak. Drizzle a portion of the dressing over steak and greens. Scatter some of the wonton strips and toasted sesame seeds on top. Serve immediately.