Easy Healthy Lunch – Steak and Braised Radish Salad in a Jar
If you haven’t encountered salads-in-jars yet, you might just not be devoting as much of your life to Pinterest as *ahem* some of us. High time you made this discovery! I first saw the idea sometime last summer, I believe, through the aforementioned social media time vacuum. It’s simple and brilliant and utterly practical. You can build it with whatever ingredients you like, following the very simple pattern of proteins/ highest density foods on the bottom, with the dressing; medium density veggies in the middle (cucumbers, carrots, peppers), then the lightest ingredients on top – greens or anything you don’t want to get soggy. Voila, you have a hearty and easily portable lunch ready to shake & roll.
I often do this with grilled chicken or eggs as the substantial protein, but experimentation is always evolving new combinations, and I wanted to share a recent favorite with you. Building on another recent favorite, braised radishes, I tried combining some leftover chilled ones with steak, greens and a shallot vinaigrette, to great results. I think you’ll love this flavor combination – not to mention the ease of a healthy lunch prepped in advance.
STEAK SALAD WITH BUTTER BRAISED RADISHES, EN JAR DE MASON
1 pound steak of your choice (I used 2 Denver steaks cut fairly thin)
1 to 1 1/2 pounds radishes, trimmed & sliced 1/3 inch thick
2 tablespoons butter (pastured, ideally)*
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 bell pepper (and/or any other salad veggies you prefer), diced
about 2-3 cups mixed greens of your choice
vinaigrette of your choice
Heat a cast iron or other heavy-bottomed skillet to high. Season the first side/sides of the steak(s) with salt and pepper and place on the pan seasoned-side down. Cook for about 4-6 minutes on the first side, depending on how well-done you like your steak. Season the top side while the bottom side cooks. Flip and cook for another 4 minutes , or until desired doneness is attained. Set aside to cool while you braise the radishes.
Place radishes in a saucepan. The skillet should hold them in a single layer. Add the butter, stock, vinegar, honey and salt. Bring it all to a simmer over medium-high. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook until radishes are tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Remove lid, stir again, and increase heat a touch. Continue simmering and stirring until the liquid has reduced to a glaze, another 5 to 10 minutes.
Take the pan off the heat and let cool while chop the bell pepper and do any other vegetable prep you need. Now would be a good time to make the vinaigrette if you make your own, or feel free to use a store-bought one you like. For this salad, I make a shallot and citrus number with the lovely orange champagne vinegar from Trader Joe’s.
Anyway, on to assembly! The steak should be cool and rested enough to slice. Divide this between the bottoms of 2 or 3 quart-sized mason jars, and then pour in about 1/2 inch of the vinaigrette. Add the lovely pale-pinkified radishes on top of that, then the peppers (et al) and finally add the greens on top. Screw on a plastic lid or use the standard metal lid with matching ring. Refrigerate until serving – at which point you simply shake it up and invert it into your salad bowl.
*Pastured butter works for many Paleo folks who otherwise eschew dairy, but if you’re inclined to avoid it altogether, I would venture to guess that coconut oil would work very well here; I may try it myself next time.
— posted by Anne