The weather is warming up and summer is here. This is the start of Memorial Day Weekend here in America, which is also the unofficial start of the summer season. Warmer weather means more salads, and I love being creative with my salads, and I love making them nice and colorful too. The more colors, the healthier it is. Don’t be fooled in thinking that when I make my salads they will not be filling though. When I make salads, I make SALADS, especially when I am making them as the main meal.
I made my dressing first so it could sit and marinate, to allow all the flavors to blend and fuse together. I made a roasted red pepper vinaigrette to dress my steak salad.
Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette
2 larger red bell peppers
1 cup olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 tsp sugar
1/8-1/4 tsp red pepper flakes or to taste
Roast the bell peppers until they are completely charred on the outside, then place them in a plastic bag and let them sweat for at least 30 minutes. Once they have cooled, remove the charred skins with your fingers and rinse thoroughly. Then place everything in the food processor and blend until you have your dressing.
Now for the salad. Obviously, you can use this dressing for anything you like, but it went very well with my Colorado steak salad. It is a big, bold salad that needs a big, bold dressing to go with it, and this dressing was a perfect choice.
Colorado Steak Salad
1 1/2 lbs steak, marinated and cooked how you like it, then cut into thin strips
1/4 onion, sliced very thin
lettuce of your choice – I used red leaf
4 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in 1/2 – I like using mixed tomatoes
1 1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives, cut in 1/2
1/2 bell pepper, in thin strips
1 cup sliced mushrooms
fried tortilla strips
cheese of your choice, optional
avocado slices, optional
This is a composed salad, which means it is artfully decorated and not tossed together. Once all the ingredients are prepared, and your mis en place is set, just start layering your salad. Finish with the cheese, if using, avocado slices and fried tortilla strips. Larry likes cheddar cheese in his salads, but bleu cheese crumbles or feta or an herbed goat cheese would be good with this too, if you prefer.
This recipe is easy-peasy and does not take a lot of time in the kitchen. It is quick to make, beautiful and healthy all at once. It is culinary art.
Pour yourself a nice glass or two of your favorite wine and let the summer salad season begin. Have a great, safe Memorial Day weekend to all my American friends, and to all, stay safe and stay well. ‘Til next time.