I don’t know if I should be embarrassed to admit this, but once I ordered “Steak Tagliata” at a restaurant expecting pasta (tagliatelle) and a salad showed up. A quick phone-google enlightened me – tagliata means sliced grilled beef served with spices and olive oil. My cheat meal was not to be.
A few weeks later, I hadn’t been to the supermarket in a while and I made this salad with the remnants of my sad, almost empty (except for one million condiments obv) fridge. I was almost out of EVOO (not enough for a dressing), so I added a few tablespoons of the steak drippings after frying to make it go further. This, along with some balsamic and maple syrup, made the most delicious dressing.
Needless to say, my “whatever is in the fridge” dinner turned out to be a hit. I told Zac I made “steak tagliata” and then when he thought it would be pasta I pretended to be super-cultured and gave him a mini Italian lesson…. kidding I’m not that mean – I was actually just happy that I wasn’t the only one.
Tagliata is actually such a no-brainer. Beef is so filling on its own that it deserves to be served simply, and I like meals that are satisfying without simple carbohydrates. Another thing I like about this meal is that the amounts of everything you have to buy even out so you use all the ingredients up and you aren’t left with, say, a half jar of roasted red peppers slowly dying in your fridge. To accomplish this feat of not-wasting food, the salad is best served in multiples of two. If I’m making it for just myself, I have it two days in a row so as to use up all the ingredients.
If you have time to let the steaks come to room temperature – do. Salt and pepper and let them sit on a rack for at least 1 hour. This allows a lovely brine to form on the surface. If you don’t have time to let them come to room temperature, salt and pepper cold and place immediately into the pan. The logic behind this is, since the salt will draw water out of the steaks you either want a brine or you want all the juices to stay inside.
Oven roasting your own peppers is always a plus, but for me the beauty of this salad is in its simplicity. When I make this for dinner its usually because I’m on my way home, want to squeeze in a workout and realize I don’t know what (if anything) is in my fridge. In these scenarios, I don’t have time to roast the peppers, and I don’t let my steak brine either. If I’m feeling particularly rebellious, I’ll use the oil the peppers came in instead of measuring out my EVOO.
Tanya – this one’s for you!