Summer is in its waning days....in most places. Here in "sunny Florida' we're probably in for at LEAST another two months of HOT weather. This summer has been a hot one most places, and I'm sure we'll all be glad for autumn to arrive after all of this heat, but in January's cold and gloom most of us will probably wax poetic back to these days of sun, heat and hanging out by the beach or pool. When our family does this, we like to grill. Personally, I think there's nothing better than the beach, and grilling on the beach (where allowed) just makes perfection even MORE perfect! But backyard grilling is probably the easiest, since everything's at hand. While my husband and I both love seafood, and especially grilled seafood, he tends toward loving to throw a big fat steak on the grill. It's affectionately known as "man food" at our house. I like to pay special attention to the salad whenever it's a "man food night" because that's what I tend to concentrate on. I like steak...just not in mass quantities.
I stumbled upon this method for grilling steak when reading an Italian cookbook. In Italy, they often marinade a steak AFTER it's been grilled. In a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice and thyme. Measurements are unimportant, just for an average to large size steak measure out about 1/4 c. olive oil, the juice of one to one and a half medium sized lemons and several sprigs of fresh thyme. If you can't find fresh thyme, use about 2 tsps of dried. But trust me, the fresh thyme is going to be better. Mix all the ingredients together and place in a shallow pan. When you remove the steak from the grill, immediately place it in this pan, for about 1-2 minutes per side. Squeeze about a half a lemon over the top and serve.
Now onto the salad. In several local restaurants they serve this salad that we also refer to as "man salad" because of it's size--but it's real name is "Wedge Salad". My husband's not all that fond of it-not because of the taste but because of the way it's served (he totally ruins the presentation by hacking it all to pieces)....but seriously I think it ROCKS. It's awesome for serving next to steaks, grilled seafood, anything really. But the even better thing about this salad is it can stand alone, for a great lunch. It's fun, its presentation is fabulous and it's easy to make. I got this recipe from my friend (and my ONLY Blog follower to date) Rachel Viera. Thanks, Rachel, for this contribution. Rachel loves to cook and I'm looking forward to sharing many recipes of hers with you in the future. So here is Rachel's recipe (and it's great..I might add...had it last night) for "Wedge Salad" (aka in the Lowe house "man salad). Give it a try tonight...you are going to LOVE it! (and thanks again, Rachel, love YOU too!!)
Take a head of iceberg lettuce and cut it into quarters, place each "wedge" on a plate.
3 T. white wine vinegar
1 small onion finely chopped
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. crumbled bleu cheese
Mix all ingredients together and pour over the wedges. Rachel recommends placing small baby carrots on the side for added color and presentation (and it does, it looks really pretty) but I have to say that they also taste great when dipped into the extra dressing.
So in the waning days of summer, when you're wanting to enjoy that grill just a few more times (we can do it year round here, but I recognize that a lot of people cannot) give that Tuscan Steak Marinade a try, and serve it alongside of Rachel's Wedge Salad. Great meal, some fantastic flavors and both are super easy to make.
Today's food quote: "Food is our common ground. A universal experience" James Beard