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Elena Silcock’s Spicy Steak Salad

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Elena Silcock’s Spicy Steak Salad

Check out this tasty recipe from Elena Silcock's new cookbook Salads Are More Than Leaves published by Hamlyn.


Serves 4

For the salad:
400g (14oz) tomatoes
1 small red onion
Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
Crispy Chickpeas (see below)
2–3 sirloin steaks (about 500g/1lb 2oz in total)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoons hot paprika
1 small bunch (about 30g/1oz) flat leaf parsley or coriander
salt and pepper

For the dressing:
3 tablespoons tahini
juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
salt and pepper

For the salad toppers:
400g (14oz) can of chickpeas
1 tablespoons olive oil
A few of the herb leaves


For the salad:

  1. Roughly chop the tomatoes into 3cm (1-inch) chunks. Put in a bowl, season generously with salt and set aside. This removes the water from the tomatoes and makes them taste 10 times better! Peel and finely slice the red onion, add to another bowl. Cover with the lemon juice, add a big pinch of salt and a splash of boiling water and set aside to pickle. Make the crispy chickpeas.
  2. Meanwhile, make the dressing, adding the harissa – this will thicken the dressing, but keep whisking and slowly trickling in extra water until it reaches a drizzling consistency.
  3. Heat a large nonstick frying pan over a high heat. Rub the steaks with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season well, then add to the hot pan and fry for 1 minutes on each side (for medium). Set aside. Turn the heat off under the pan.
  4. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the pan. Peel and finely slice the garlic, then add to the pan with the smoked paprika – the pan will still be hot enough to lightly colour them both, but scrape it a bit to pick up some of the meaty goodness! Transfer the garlic, paprika and any oil in the pan to a large mixing bowl.
  5. Add most of the crispy chickpeas to the bowl, then drain the tomatoes and add those along with the pickled onions and most of the herb leaves. Season well and toss. Transfer to a platter or plates.
  6. Slice the steaks, then snuggle the slices into the salad. Drizzle the dressing and top with the remaining crispy chickpeas and herb leaves.

For the dressing:

  1. Put the tahini and lemon juice in a large serving or mixing bowl, season generously with salt and pepper and whisk until combined – it’ll seize up and look clumpy, but don’t worry! Add splashes of water and keep whisking until it becomes a light creamy colour and a drizzling consistency – it can take up to 5 tablespoons water, so have no fears about it continuing to look clumpy for a while! Store in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for up to a week.

For the salad toppers:

  1. Add 2 teaspoons of any ground spices such as curry powder, ground coriander, ground cumin or smoked paprika to make a spiced version (Optional).
  2. Preheat the oven to 180 C/160 C fan/350 F/Gas Mark 4. Line a baking tray with nonstick baking paper.
  3. Drain and rinse the chickpeas, then drain well and pat them dry with kitchen paper. Spread out on the lined tray and add the oil. Sprinkle with the spices, if using, season generously with salt and toss well.
  4. Roast for 20–30 minutes, shaking the pan every 10 minutes, until golden and crispy. Be careful and stand back when shaking the pan, as sometimes they can pop open in the oven.
  5. Set aside to cool. Loosely cover and use within 2 days. If they go soft, put them back in a hot oven to crisp up again

Salads Are More Than Leaves by Elena Silcock, published by Hamlyn, £20 hardback (octopusbooks.co.uk)

Photography by Chloe Hardwick

Author: Elena Silcock


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