As the temperatures continue to lift the grilling season shifts into full speed ahead. The feature recipe this week is one that I wrote around 9-10 years ago. My guests found it quite yummy and I think you’ll enjoy it as a side salad or main entrée.
When the grill is rolling don’t forget to cook extra meats to enjoy later in the week. As I’ve mentioned in earlier columns the best way to reheat the grilled meats is in the steamer. The steam brings back the succulent moisture that’s lost once the meat is refrigerated.
Different cuts of meat may be implemented for the Italian Beef Salad. Even a round steak would be delicious, ‘if’ handled properly in preparations. IE: Brine the round steak before it goes on the grill. Smoked meats are also delicious on salads, but perhaps not in the Italian presentation.
For the cheese there are lots of different alternatives to consider. Even the main body of this salad has room for ingredient shuffling. Zucchini, cucumbers, peppers and shredded carrots are just a few ideas.
If the salad was served as a main entrée perhaps a cold strawberry soup would be a unique opener, followed by muffins and sweet breads to accompany. Italian cheese bread would also please many palates. Or…a made from scratch garlic butter to go on the Italian bread. If an appetizer was implemented I’m leaning towards a spinach/artichoke dip or a spinach/artichoke pizza.
This week brought us beautiful weather in the Ozark Mountains. Everyone is busy planting flowers, mowing yards and tidying on the home front. In the ten years we’ve resided in Branson West this has been the easiest ‘pollen’ season too. Due to all the late freezes it has been much milder this year, or so I am told!!
As parents we enjoyed sending our son, Phillip, off to enjoy his Junior Prom this past week. He and several school chums enjoyed the evening and topped it off with a late night movie. I don’t know who was more excited Phillip or mom and dad! It was another passage towards adulthood. The scariest part was when he said he was meeting friends for pizza beforehand! I about went stir-crazy envisioning sauce and grease stains on his prom attire. Evidently I didn’t do too badly on the mothering as he took my advice and didn’t eat!
I’m going to leave the salad recipe to your viewing and bid you an outstanding week filled with laughter, smiles and happiness. Simply yours, The Covered Dish, www.thecovereddish.com
Italian Beef Salad
(Adapt amounts of toppings to the number of guests you are serving.)
Thinly sliced red onion, (Soak in ice water for 30 minutes, pat dry, removes some of the onion power.)
Tomatoes of choice, grape recommended
Mozzarella cheese or Italian cheese blend
Skirt Steak, barbecued and cut into thin strips
Italian Blend Lettuce
Options: Fresh basil or arugula, various cheeses
Grill the steak and allow to cool slightly before slicing into thin strips cutting across the grain. Prepare greens and layer the remaining ingredients in an eye-pleasing fashion across the salad. Add the cheese last with the skirt steak placed on top.
A wonderful one-dish meal for a warm summer night.
Creamy Italian Dressing
3/4 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing, cook’s choice
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1-2 minced garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon dry sweet basil
Mix all ingredients with a whisk and chill before serving. Yields approximately one cup.
Debbie Dance Uhrig