PERUVIAN STEAK SALAD
The Barcelona Cookbook
by Sasa Mahr-batuz & Andy Pforzheimer
When Lisa, the executive chef at our Greenwich restaurant, first ran this salad as a special, she put purple potatoes in it and called it "Peruvian." The combination of grilled marinated steak and crunchy salad was a hit, and it stayed on the menu long after purple potatoes were out of season. When customers now ask what makes the salad "Peruvian," we deftly change the subject.
• 1 cup balsamic vinegar
• 3/4 cup soy sauce
• 1 teaspoon honey
• Pinch of hot red pepper flakes
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 2 plum tomatoes, peeled and seeded, firm flesh chopped
• 1 red bell pepper, seeded, cored, and thinly sliced
• 1 poblano or green bell pepper, seeded, cored, and thinly sliced
• 1/2 jicama, peeled and julienned (preferably with a mandoline)
• 1/2 English cucumber, julienned (preferably with a mandoline)
• 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
• Four 8-ounce pieces skirt steak, trimmed of excess fat
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2 heads romaine lettuce, coarsely chopped
• Juice of 1/2 lemon
• 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• Fresh cilantro sprigs, for garnish
1. To make the dressing: Whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, and honey. Season with the pepper flakes and black pepper. Set aside until needed or cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Whisk or shake well before using.
2. To make the salad: In a mixing bowl, toss together the tomatoes, red bell pepper, poblano pepper, jicama, cucumber, and onion.
3. Prepare a gas or charcoal grill so that the heating element or charcoal is hot.
4. Season the steaks on both sides with salt and pepper. Grill for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until medium-rare or cooked to your desired degree of doneness. Set aside to rest for about 10 minutes.
5. Divide the lettuce among 4 salad plates. Drizzle lemon juice over each plate and then drizzle each with a little extra-virgin olive oil.
6. Spoon about 3 tablespoons of the dressing over the bowl of mixed vegetables and toss to mix. Spoon equal amounts of the vegetables over the lettuce.
7. Slice the steaks on the bias into strips 1/2 inch wide by 3/4 inch long, cutting nearly to the edge of the steak but leaving each piece intact. Wrap the steak around the mound of vegetables to resemble a crown. Garnish each plate with a cilantro sprig.