Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Steak salad...well a Salad that can stand up to steak

There are salads and there are salads. There was an amazing post on 101 cookbooks the blog, the other day about a yellow bean salad with a coconut dressing. Sounded delish and it inspired me to look at beans again as another source of side dishery for the summer. I make several mean green bean salads. I love them. They are lighter than a starch yet give you that feeling that you are eating something substantial. And salads are a source of summer culinary joy! But I mean there are salads that stand on their own and are an entree unto themselves, and then there are salads that are part of a collection of dishes in the summer that help to make up a feast. This post is about such a salad.

 The other day a friend brought over the most amazing rib-eye steaks ever. Aged for 30 days and so decadent. He wanted to serve it up grilled with some soft blue cheese from france melted on top and a dap of butter. Heart healthy I know! So I was to come up with some sides that would support this very ambitious red meat eating frenzy.

At first I thought I would make a potato salad and a tomato salad. This sounded pretty good. But as the evening approached and I went to the store I decided on a little something more summery. Inspired by the 101 cookbooks post I looked around the store and decided that a green bean and fresh corn salad with a warm bacon dressing and some other tasty tidbits was in the works.

Now before you scoff at this being another one of these "I love bacon things",  let me say that this salad actually came out very light. There was in fact very little dressing on it and because of the crunchy beans, corn,  onions and almonds it was hefty but not heavy. The dressing was really little more than the left over bacon drippings some red wine vinegar, some danish dill sweet mustard ( I had in the pantry) and a dash of olive oil. Believe me when I say lightly dressed yet delicious. The mustard and the dill helped a lot.

But the real tribute to this salad was that it really stood up flavor wise to the steak. And that's what's great about it. So the next time you are going to try and use some green beans, give this a try.

Haricot Vert and Fresh Corn Salad with a Warm Bacon Dressing.
make 4 to 6 servings depending on other sides

8 ounces Haricot Vert ( I used one package from the Trader Joe's Veggie Aisle)
2 ears of corn yellow sweet
2 stalks of celery finely diced
1/3 of a red onion finely diced
1/3 cup sliced almonds
3 oz slab bacon cut into lardons
1/3 cup french fried onions ( I use the fancy french ones you could use French's)
1 teaspoon pink peppercorns ( optional for garnish)

Cook beans in the microwave for 1 1/2 minutes on high remove and cool
Cut beans into three segments
Cut corn off the cob
Cook the bacon slowly to release the fat. Remove leave drippings in the pan
Put all remaining ingredients into a bowl along with the beans, corn and bacon.
Toss in the dressing taste and season with S&P to taste and let stand at room temp for about an hour, or serve immediately if you want.


Warm the bacon drippings in the pan ( about 2 tablespoons)
Add 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoon Dill mustard ( Or mix dijon with some dill and sugar)
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon water
S&P taste
Stir together over low heat till warm and mixed through, dress salad while warm.

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