My calendar may say that it’s summer, but I’ve been so busy lately, I barely notice the change in season anymore. It’s a stark contrast to how I would literally count down the days to summer when I was a child, rejoicing when the final bell rang. Those long warm days in the California sun just couldn’t come soon enough!
The fact that summer is in full swing finally just dawned on me when foraging for these arugula greens. It’s a little sad that it took me three weeks to fully recognize the change in season, but mid-July is when my garden really starts to shine. I realize now that while I no longer count down to the lazy summer days of my past playing with friends, visiting the beach, or going to theme parks, I don’t think it’s a bad compromise that in adulthood, I have an incredible garden where I enjoy nothing more than counting down the days until my fruits and vegetables are ready to be harvested.
I suppose I truly have the better deal now because I really didn’t know how to cook much of anything when I was a kid. Now at least half of the food I cook up in summer is from my garden and that makes me a very, very happy dietitian. While this dish utilized the last of our arugula crop, my favorite salad greens will be back shortly with corn and pumpkins to follow. Until then, we will surely be eating our weight in tomatoes and kale!
Below is a recipe the salad, which I’ve adapted from an Epicurious recipe.
Steak & Arugula Salad
Time: 25 minutes
5 oz arugula
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 large garlic cloves, smashed
1 large sprig fresh rosemary needles
1 lb boneless top loin steak or sirloin (1 inch thick)
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 large shallot, thinly sliced crosswise
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
Mound arugula on a large platter.
Heat oil with garlic and rosemary in a 12-inch heavy skillet over high heat, turning garlic once or twice, until garlic is soft, about 1-2 minutes. Meanwhile, cut steak crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick slices and toss with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add steak to skillet all at once and sauté over high heat, tossing with tongs to color evenly, about 1 minute for medium-rare.
Arrange steak over arugula using tongs, then add shallot to oil in skillet along with vinegars and remaining 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper and boil 2 minutes. Garnish to taste with ground black pepper. Pour dressing over steak and serve immediately.