Are you eating enough purple food? If you can find the potatoes called for in this recipe, you'll be rewarded with their subtle, nutty flavor. And they add lovely color to this healthful dish, aimed at pleasing the meat-and-potatoes crowd.
Purple potatoes can be found in greater numbers in the fall. We found some at the Greenbelt Consumer Coop (301-474-0522) and at a few Whole Foods Markets, mixed in with an assortment of fingerlings. Small Yukon Gold potatoes may be used here instead.
We used a grill pan here just to keep things easy; if you have a gas grill, factor in the preheating time before you rub the steak with garlic and spices.
Wine columnist Dave McIntyre says a big purple recipe calls for a big purple wine, such as an Australian shiraz. Try the 1-liter Terra Barossa or the Robert Oakley shiraz; these will have the spice and body to match this steak salad.
- 1/2 lime
- 2 medium cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons piment d'Espelette (may substitute chipotle powder or ancho chili powder)
- 12 ounces top sirloin steak
- 1 pound small Peruvian purple potatoes (may substitute small Yukon Gold potatoes; see headnote)
- 4 to 6 large radishes (to taste)
- 6 scallions
- 2 to 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup leaves from 4 to 6 stems cilantro
- 6 to 8 cups mesclun greens
For the salad: Squeeze the 1/2 lime into a small bowl to yield 2 teaspoons of juice. Mash the garlic into a paste with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, then add to the bowl, along with the piment d'espelette. Mix well.
Trim the steak of any excess fat. Rub the mixture on both sides of the steak, then cover loosely and refrigerate the meat while you cook the potatoes.
Scrub the potatoes, then place them in a large pot and cover with cool water. Bring to a boil over high heat; cook for about 15 minutes, until just tender when pierced with a fork. Drain and let cool for 5 minutes, then cut into halves or quarters (depending on the size of the potatoes).
While the potatoes are cooking, trim the radishes and cut them into very thin slices. Trim the scallions, then cut the white and light-green parts crosswise into thin slices. Chop the cilantro leaves to yield 1/2 cup. Add the warm potatoes; combine these ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
While the potatoes are cooling, cook the steak: Lightly spray a grill pan with nonstick cooking oil spray; heat over medium-high heat. Place the steak in the pan and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, then turn it over and cook for about 8 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers--0 degrees and the steak is nicely browned. Transfer to a cutting board and let it rest for 5 minutes, then cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices.
While the steak is resting, make the dressing: Whisk together the vinegar to taste, oil, cumin, pepper and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a liquid measuring cup, then add to the bowl with the vegetables. Toss to coat evenly. Add the slices of steak and any accumulated juices.
Wash and dry the greens; divide among individual plates, then divide the steak and potato salad evenly on top of each portion of the salad greens. Serve at room temperature.
Adapted from "Eating Well in Season," by Jessie Price and the editors of Eating Well magazine (Countryman Press, 2009).
Tested by Bonnie Benwick.
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