In the second last installment of the definitive guide to salad, we’re looking at salads that focus on meat, fish or poultry. Just the thing for when you’re trying to satisfy both a hardened carnivore and a rabbit food fan with the one dish.
The idea is to use your protein as a highlight ingredient to give substance and interest to the salad. While at the same time allowing the accompanying leaves and dressing to add lightness and fun. It’s all about balance.
I’ve been dying to share one of my favourite meat based salads since before I went to Spain last year. Thin bite size pieces of melt-in-the-mouth steak given a crisp coating with the help of a little flour will keep hungry meat eaters happy. Then vibrant leaves dressed in a punchy, slightly sweet balsamic dressing for the salad-ivores and cold creamy ricotta to bring it all together.
5 ingredient and made in less than 10 minutes. It’s the type of salad that will keep you going through the Autumn.
[5 ingredients | 10 minutes]
crisp beef and balsamic salad with ricotta
When a recipe calls for dusting meat in flour before cooking, I usually give it a miss but for some reason tried it out on this salad before I went to Spain and was so impressed with the lovely crunchy texture that it gave the meat. And the beautiful deep golden colour. Worth the effort. If you need it to be gluten free rice or potato or even corn (maize) flour should all work.
The lovely red colour and bitterness of radicchio are a lovely contrast to the smooth creamy ricotta. If you can’t get your hands on radicchio don’t worry. Just substitute in you favourite lettuce or even mixed leaves.
300g (10oz) piece steak, finely sliced into bite sized pieces
3T plain flour
2T aged balsamic vinegar
1 head radicchio or other lettuce, leaves torn
200g (7oz) ricotta
Place a large frying pan over a high heat. Season flour well with s&p and toss beef pieces until well coated.
Heat enough olive oil in the pan to just cover the base. When it starts to smoke quickly fry the steak turning once or twice until deeply golden. Drain on paper towel.
Mix balsamic with 2T extra virgin oil and season. Toss lettuce leaves so they are well coated in the dressing.
To serve smear the ricotta over two plates. Top with dressed leaves and finally the beef. Best to eat while the beef is still hot and crispy and the ricotta is a cool creamy contrast.