I loved the movie Cat on a Hot Tin Roof with Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman and Burl Ives. It just seemed the weather was so hot and humid in that movie, kind of like it was today in Glendale, California. Spane, Amber’s children and a friend all had a wonderful time playing in the neighbors pool, and as I watched them, I thought that a steak salad would be the perfect end to a perfect day. I decided to call the salad Hot Tin Roof Salad because it was so hot and steamy here, just like in the movie.
With that being said, one of the wonderful things about summer is all the great, fresh vegetables. Tomatoes are sweet and pop juice into your mouth. Lettuce is really crisp and the greenest of green. The little Persian cucumbers I get at the local Armenian store are tender and flavorful – not like their large watery English cousins with the waxed skins that always seem to come up on you later. Buttery Haas avocados are also plentiful – did you know that all Haas avocados come from one single tree that died at the age of 76 in La Habra Heights, California?
Let’s Make Some Hot Tin Roof Salad!
So the first thing I did was cut up my vegetables, except for the lettuce that I would do at the very end. I had cherry tomatoes that I halved, and Persian cucumbers that I sliced. I also sliced a half an onion, and sautéed it in olive oil, then marinated them with the tomatoes and cucumber in a Balsamic vinaigrette. I sliced up an avocado, but put it in a Tupperware until I was ready to assemble my salad.
The next thing I did was grill two pieces of thinly sliced Top Round in the butter that had been flavored by the onions. Just before taking them off, I put a little Worcestershire sauce, let them rest a minute or so, and sliced them against the grain.
After the meat was done, I had a nicely flavored pan, so I cut up some French rolls, and sliced a clove of garlic to make croûtons. I just added butter to the pan, and then cooked the bread until it was nicely coated.
Now that all the ingredients for my salad were prepared, it was time to make the salad dressing. I wanted to serve the salad dressing separately because I wanted to make a composed salad.
I have a large pasta serving bowl that I used because I had a lot of salad. I put large leaves on the bottom and up the sides, then tore off smaller pieces. I put the croûtons in a circle on the outside, then filled that with the marinated tomato mixture. I pour the marinade over. I laid the steak slices over the tomato mixture, then topped that with the avocados, the “roof”.
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 2 Persian cucumbers, sliced
- 1 avocado, sliced
- Vinaigrette Marinade
- 1/2 onion, sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 slices Top Round, thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 French roll, cubed
- 1 garlic clove, sliced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 head curly or red leaf lettuce
- Blue Cheese Dressing
- Combine the tomato and cucumber in a bowl.
- Slice the avocado and refrigerate it in a small covered container.
- Prepare the marinade.
- Heat an iron skillet, and add the olive oil. Sauté the onion until it is translucent. Remove the onions and put them in the bowl with the tomatoes. Pour the marinade over them, and chill until ready to assemble.
- Grill the steak slices in the same pan, about two minutes on each side. Just before they are done, add the Worcestershire sauce, flip to coat both sides. Remove from the pan and let the steak rest about 5 minutes before slicing.
- Meanwhile, add the butter to the same pan, and let it melt. Then add the garlic and sauté until the garlic is soft, about two minutes. Add the cubed bread, and cook, stirring frequently until the bread is crisp and coated. Remove from the pan, and cover loosely until ready to assemble.
- Slice the steaks in 1/2 inch strips against the grain. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.
- Prepare the blue cheese dressing, and refrigerate until ready to assemble.
- When you are ready to assemble, have ready a large shallow serving bowl, a pasta bowl makes a good choice.
- Take the large outer leaves of the lettuce and line the bowl with those, fanning out the leaves nicely.
- Tear the remaining lettuce into smaller pieces into the bowl.
- Put the croûtons on the outside.
- Fill with the marinated vegetables.
- Put the slices of steak on top of the vegetables in a line, allowing the vegetables to show under.
- Top with the avocado slices.
- You can refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Serve with the blue cheese dressing, separately.
- Quick notes
- This is a great salad for the grill. All the vegetables, and, of course, the steak, can be go on the barbecue. Keep your kitchen cool in the summer!
- 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard, Coleman's is a good brand
- 1 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Red Wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons good olive oil (approximate)
- In a shallow bowl, whisk together the mustard and vinegars. Slowly start adding the olive oil, whisking all the while, until the oil and vinegar are combined. Use immediately.
- 2 tablespoons Blue Cheese
- 1/3 cup Mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup Sour Cream
- Squeeze lemon Juice
- Freshly Grated Black Pepper
- Put all the ingredients in a small food processor and process until you have a smooth dressing. Refrigerate until ready to use.