Salad season is upon us. I’m happy any time I can make a main dish salad and avoid heating up the kitchen. Heating up the grill, however, is a not a problem. My husband grilled a beef tenderloin the other night, and with the leftovers we made Thai Beef Salad (flank steak works well too).
If you don’t have lemongrass for the dressing, you can omit it. I usually have some growing in a pot, and it’s very easy to propagate (I’ve done this before with lemongrass purchased at the grocery store). My biggest problem is keeping my dogs away from it — they chew it, I think, to help with digestion. I keep moving it higher, and they keep seeking it out:
Jasper munching on some lemongrass
But don’t omit the fish sauce! I keep a bottle of Three Crab fish sauce on hand. It’s available in asian markets and most large grocery stores, and was recommended to me by a Vietnamese chef:
Adjust the heat of the dressing to your liking by altering the amount of crushed red pepper. The vegetables for the salad are suggestions — use whatever you like in whatever quantity you desire (I like the cool crunch that cucumbers provide, but didn’t have any on hand when I made it this time).
|THAI BEEF SALAD|| |
- For the dressing:
- 4 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lime juice
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons finely minced lemongrass stalk*
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
- For the salad:
- Thinly sliced grilled beef
- Sliced tomatoes
- Chopped lettuce
- Sliced cucumbers
- Thinly sliced red onion
- Thinly sliced shallot
- Thinly sliced serrano peppers or thai chiles
- Mint sprigs, for garnish
- Place all dressing ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix together until brown sugar is dissolved and ingredients are well combined. Add the sliced beef and allow to sit in dressing while preparing the rest of the salad.
- Place chopped lettuce in a large shallow bowl or platter. Using tongs, remove beef from dressing and mound in center of lettuce. Pour dressing over lettuce around beef. Arrange tomatoes, red onions, cucumbers (or whatever vegetables you are using) decoratively around beef. Scatter shallots and chiles over salad. Garnish with mint. Serve at room temperature.
- *To mince the lemongrass, use the woody stalk, peeling off the outer layer. Mash the stalk by whacking it with the flat side of a knife, then finely mince.
A great warm weather meal
Grilled tenderloin is the star of this salad
Special thanks to my friend Tori for the exotic wood salad servers she brought me as a souvenir from her recent trip to Thailand: