This recipe reminds me of a September day about twenty years ago, when friends of mine were moving to far-off Pennsylvania. Several of us had come to help them pack and say goodbye, and after a day of sorting books and hauling furniture, we were all very hungry, and just a little heart-sick.
Our soon-to-be-gone friends said, “Let’s raid the garden. Everything has to go!” So we picked eggplants, zucchinis, sweet peppers and onions until the plants were bare. We let the veggies--along with a thick sirloin steak--marinate while we heated coals, sipped wine, and tape-recorded greetings to our pregnant host’s baby-to-be, who we would not be able to meet in person when she was born.
We ate our “last supper” together in a chairless room with boxes scattered about, and bittersweet abundance in our hearts.
Combine meat marinade ingredients in a glass or ceramic dish. Add steaks and turn to coat well. Let stand, turning often, one hour.
Meanwhile, make vegetable marinade: Combine vinegar, basil or thyme, mustard and salt in a large bowl. Whisk in the olive oil in a thin stream. Toss vegetables in the marinade and let stand, tossing occasionally, one hour.
Heat coals in an outdoor grill. Skewer the vegetables, one type per skewer. Grill veggies until barely tender, returning them to the marinade.
Next, grill the beef to medium rare, about 4-6 minutes per side. While beef is cooking, bring the meat marinade to a strong simmer in a saucepan; reduce it to a syrupy glaze.
Let meat rest 5 minutes off the grill then slice it across the grain. Toss slices with the cooked meat marinade.
Portion the chopped Napa cabbage, spinach, or romaine onto 4 large plates; divide sliced meat and marinated vegetables over lettuce. If desired, drizzle a little of the vegetable marinade over all. Sprinkle each salad with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
For the vegetables, consider any or all of the following: zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, parboiled potatoes, or fennel.
Copyright by Terese Allen