"This salad is a terrific example of how simple ingredients can be combined in surprisingly different ways. Basically, it's just the makings of many a meal – a piece of steak, tomatoes, salad greens and bread – but the way you prepare each ingredient lifts the whole thing to another level, and makes it taste so special and beautiful. Although I suggest marinating the meat, if you're short on time don't worry about this step; just brush it with oil before putting it on the barbeque." ~ Belinda Jeffery.
1 large clove garlic, thinly sliced
2 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked
2 rib-eye steaks (about 200g each and 1.5cm thick)
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Sea salt flakes, to taste
3–4 handfuls of assorted salad greens (I used a mixture of rocket and elk-horn lettuce in the photo), washed and gently dried
1 1/2 Tbs good salad dressing
Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup (60mL) extra virgin olive oil
1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
1 golden shallot, very finely chopped
350g ripe cherry tomatoes, halved (tiny ones can stay whole)
2–3 tsp red wine vinegar
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
About 120g pide bread
1–2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
Scatter half the garlic and rosemary over the base of a shallow dish. Sit the steaks on top and sprinkle with the remaining garlic and rosemary. Drizzle with enough olive oil to coat them lightly, then grind on some pepper.
Turn the steaks over a couple of times so they’re well coated in the mixture, then cover and leave at cool room temperature for about 30 minutes, turning occasionally (if you don’t have time for this, just brush the steaks with olive oil before cooking them).
In the meantime, to make the cherry tomato vinaigrette, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.
Scrape in the garlic and shallot and cook them, stirring regularly for a few minutes, until they have softened and look slightly translucent.
Add the tomatoes and stir them about so they’re well coated in the oily mixture. Cook them, stirring regularly, for about 5 minutes or until they’re beginning to release their juices and look a bit squishy.
Remove the pan from the heat and mix in the vinegar, remaining olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
Don’t worry if some of the tomatoes squash as you do this – it only makes the mixture taste better. Set it aside to cool a bit.
This makes about 1 1/2 cups (375mL), (you won’t need it all for this recipe, but don’t worry. Store any leftovers in the fridge – it’s delicious spooned over fish or lamb, or dribbled over toasted sourdough bread as a tasty bruschetta).
Pre-heat your oven to 200 C and line a small baking tray with baking paper. At the same time, pre-heat your barbeque to medium–high.
For the crunchy bread, carefully remove the crusts from the bread with a sharp serrated knife (this is a bit awkward as the bread is quite thin, but if you take your time, they will come off easily). Tear the bread into small bite-sized chunks and drop them into a bowl.
Drizzle the bread chunks with olive oil and with your fingers (wearing a food-prep glove, if you like) swizzle the bread around in the oil so all the oil is absorbed.
Spread the chunks in a single layer on the prepared baking tray and pop it in the oven. Bake the bread for 8–10 minutes, tossing it about once or twice, until it’s golden and crunchy. Remove the tray from the oven and leave the bread chunks to cool a little.
Credits: Extracted from The Salad Book by Belinda Jeffery with photography by Rodney Weidland, Lantern, RRP$39.99.
Photo Credits: Extracted from The Salad Book by Belinda Jeffery with photography by Rodney Weidland, Lantern, RRP$39.99.