Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Spinach Salad with Steak, Blueberries & Feta

Greetings! I hope my American readers had a lovely 4th of July full of fireworks, fun, and delicious food and drink. Mine, which I spent with family on Cape Cod, involved all of these things. I'm not a hot-dog-eater, but between ribs and kebabs and the obligatory Cape Cod seafood and Cape Cod Beer, this semivegetarian was a bit overwhelmed there for a minute. So you would think that now, being back in Philly, I would be eating nonstop salads and no meat whatsoever, right?

Well, kind of. This is indeed a salad, but I topped it with the only type of animal I did not eat this weekend: Beef, steak-style. I guess I wasn't ready to give up the meatfest yet. And let me tell you, if you think steak and blueberries and feta would be strange together in the same dish, you and I are on just the same wavelength. I thought it could be strange in a refreshing and delicious way, though, and I do believe I was right! Don't you love that? Also I used local blueberries, and I'm feeling a little bit smug about it.

For us, this made plenty for dinner with enough of everything left over for a lunch tomorrow.
1/2 to 3/4 lb boneless sirloin 
Baby spinach - 2-3 generous handfuls
Feta cheese, or Feta crumbles, to taste
Handful or two of blueberries, washed
Garlic powder
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
White wine, red wine, or balsamic vinegar

1. In a plastic food storage bag or container, drizzle the beef with a little olive oil and vinegar, and sprinkle with plenty of salt and pepper. Also add paprika and garlic powder if desired. Turn, shake, or mush around manually to coat meat evenly. Allowed to marinate in the refridgerator for at least one hour.
2. Add a bit of olive oil or cooking spray to a grill pan or frying pan, and heat on a medium setting. Cook your beef according to your preference. (I like to sear mine on high heat for just a couple of minutes per side, to keep it rare at the center.) This will depend on the thickness of your cut of meat.*
3. When meat is done, transfer to a cutting board and allow to partially cool. Slice thinly, against the grain. (If serving at a later time, slice and refrigerate).
4. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, vinegar, and a bit of salt and pepper to taste.
5. In a large bowl, toss baby spinach in the dressing you just made. Add your blueberries, and toss to coat. You can add the beef now and toss that as well, or add it more as a topping.
6. Transfer the spinach mixture to a serving platter, serving bowl, or individual bowls, and crumble Feta over the top.

*Can you tell I don't know that much about meat? Yes? Fine.
 Of course, this would be a great fix for leftover beef or steak tips. Especially if they're grilled leftovers. Yummy. We had this salad with some fresh french bread, which we dipped in the dressing. Delicious! And nutritionally, this meal gets high points for antioxidants and major iron content. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go see if I've become magnetic yet.

Food Facts: Feta is traditionally made of sheep's or goat's milk. The milk, curdled with rennet, is separated and allowed to drain in a special mold or a cloth bag.  It is cut into large slices (feta means 'slice') that are salted and then packed in barrels filled with whey or brine.

... And Food Facts for the Extra Nerdy: It is believed that the sheep's milk cheese that Polyphemus the Cyclops made in his caves in Homer's 'Odyssey' was most likely an early form of feta cheese. Sourced from

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