I love a salad that has a bit of protein in it too – think wedges of egg, or salmon, as an addition to your greens, as it really transforms a simple salad into a meal in its own right.
Today’s salad is especially nice as a little bit of steak really goes a long way, especially in tough economic times. You can even use leftover steak for this recipe. Don’t omit the lemony creme fraiche dressing as it adds a cool creaminess.
For the steak: 150g of steak (any good cut); a good glug of olive oil; salt and black pepper; two or three shakes of dried chilli flakes; 1 tsp smoked Spanish paprika or “pimenton”; 1 medium clove of garlic, chopped.
For the rest of the salad:1 head of butter/iceberg lettuce, washed, spin-dried and torn by hand; a handful of wild rocket; a handful of cherry tomatoes, halved; 1/2 avocado, diced; a handful of croutons, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
For the dressing: 3/4 tub of creme fraiche to which you’ve added about 1 tbsp of olive oil, the juice of half a small lemon, and some salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Mix thoroughly.
Marinade the steak in the rest of the steak ingredients for about half and hour; rub it in well to help it absorb all the flavours. Before frying, scrape off as much of the garlic as you can, as it tends to burn. Heat a cast-iron grill pan till hot but not smoking (don’t fill it with oil as your kitchen will end up full of smoke. Simply give it a wipe with a piece of kitchen paper that has a bit of olive oil on it; the olive oil in the marinade will also help it not to stick).
Fry the steak for six to eight minutes in total, depending on how thick it is, and turn it every minute. I use a kitchen timer to make it a little easier. Don’t pierce the steak – tongs are best for turning. Remove from the heat and let it rest for a few minutes, before slicing it thinly.
Arrange the salad ingredients onto a flat platter and add the steak strips on top. Season with salt and pepper if needed, then drizzle the dressing over. I sometimes also finish it off a bit with a very thin stream of olive oil on top.