Monday, July 20, 2009

Steak Salad with Snap Peas...

Our two types of pea plants (sugar snap and snow) have been doing quite well and we've even been able to place a couple pounds into the freezer for use later on. When I noticed that they have now surpassed my height, I wondered just how tall they were - we went out and measured this evening and a few of them have even managed to crawl themselves up to seven feet tall - crazy! We actually prepared this recipe, Steak Salad with Snap Peas, for dinner a couple weeks ago just as they began ripening and producing their wealth of pods.

While I was waiting for the broiler to get itself up to temperature, I sat myself down at the island and started trimming and halving the peas. Mindless work that doesn't always thrill me, but I've found I have started looking at it in a new light now that we've been growing them ourselves - I guess it's the sense of accomplishment? Once I had the pile of them prepped, we seasoned a halved flank steak and gave it a fairly short stint under the broiler, finishing it off to a nice medium-rare. If you wanted the steak to have a more intense flavor, certainly let it hang out in your favorite marinade before broiling - a marinade would also benefit it by tenderizing the meat a bit, but neither of us found it especially tough since it wasn't overdone.

As with most meats, giving it a required rest before slicing into it is recommend - which gave us plenty of time to finish this speedy salad! To take off the raw raw edge of the peas, they were steamed for just a couple minutes, then shocked under cold water to stop their cooking, leaving them crisp tender with a ravishing bright green color.

An innocent, but powerful dressing, was up next by whisking together fruity olive oil, white wine vinegar, a generous dollop of Dijon mustard to emulsify and a clove of raw garlic for bite. Rather than just dumping all the elements into a big bowl and tossing them together, this salad was more about being a composed dish. To ensure the dressing would be able to evenly reach all of the components, half of it was first used to coat a head of torn butterhead lettuce before evenly arranging the leaves on our serving plates. The rest? You'll see!

The steak, which we had then thinly sliced across the grain, was mounded in the center and surrounded by the snap peas and thin orange ribbons, thanks to a couple carrots and our handy peeler. The recipe did call for radishes, which would have been nice for a peppery contrast, but alas I completely forgot to pick them up and by the time I realized it, it was too late! *Mental note - be sure to add them to the garden next year. That tangy dressing we held back was then brought into play by drizzling it all over the top, imparting itself over each ingredient. While fresh and light, we found this colorful salad to still be plenty filling thanks to the added steak and bulky vegetables. I did find myself missing that radish though, not only for flavor, but for the pop of red and white contrast it would have added to the visual appeal!


  1. Yummmm! That salad looks refreshing, yet still able to fill you up. Love it!

  2. Yummm! I have been getting sugar snap peas every week at the farmers market for the past few weeks, and they are SO sweet and good! They are a bit annoying to prep, but very worth the effort! What fun to be able to grow your own :-)


  3. TannyP - Exactly!

    Courtney - It has been quite the experience growing them!