Hello Coping with Frugality readers! I’m April Harris and I share inspiration, tips and trends for anyone who loves food, cooking, entertaining, fashion, travel and the finer things in life at my blog The 21st Century Housewife. I specialize in easy and delicious recipes like the one I’m sharing today. I am really excited to be guest posting for Amanda while she is on maternity leave.
Going out for dinner on Valentine’s Day can be expensive, and that’s before we even talk about trying to get a babysitter. It’s even more complicated when Valentine’s Day falls in the middle of a busy week. So what to do when time and pennies are tight?
Cooking a romantic dinner at home isn’t always a practical solution, but this dinner is. It takes next to no time to throw together, is hearty, satisfying and good for you too.
Lean steak has lots of protein and asparagus is a great source of folic acid and vitamins. I know asparagus is out of season in many places, but you really don’t need much of it to make this salad, and as well as being a treat, asparagus is known for it’s aphrodisiac qualities. If asparagus isn’t available, you can use sugar snap peas instead. I’m not sure they are an aphrodisiac, but they taste great.
- 3 to 4 cups of assorted lettuces, washed and torn (I used iceberg, Boston lettuce and baby romaine)
- A handful of radishes, washed and thinly sliced OR
- 1 small red onion, peeled and very thinly sliced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- One large bunch of asparagus, washed OR
- 1 cup sugar snap peas, washed and drained
- A drizzle of olive oil
- 1 large or 2 small to medium pasture raised or organic sirloin steaks, about 8 to 10 ounces in total, preferably about a half inch thick
- Montreal Steak Seasoning OR salt and pepper
- 3 tablespoons mild olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
- 1 generous teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Drizzle a bit of oil in a frying pan with a drizzle of oil and heat over medium heat.
- Sprinkle the steaks with Montreal Steak Seasoning or salt and pepper on both sides. When the frying pan is nice and hot, add the steaks.
- Meanwhile, trim the ends from the asparagus. Cut most of the stalks in half but leave about six of them whole for garnish. Place in a saucepan with just enough water to cover them, pop a lid on, bring to the boil, and then cook for just three minutes. Drain immediately, rinse in cold water to stop the cooking and then cover with the lid. Set aside. (If using sugar snap peas, you can skip this step.)
- Turn the steaks once, cooking for a total of about three to five minutes on each side depending on your desired doneness. Put the steaks on a warm plate, cover with aluminum foil and a tea towel, and set aside to rest.
- Put the dressing ingredients in a clean jam jar or other container with a lid and shake together well.
- Put the lettuce, radishes, most of the tomatoes and the cut pieces of asparagus (or sugar snaps) in a large bowl, saving some tomatoes and the whole pieces of asparagus for garnish. Toss together. Divide the salad between the plates.
- Slice the steaks in fairly thin slices and place on top of the salad. Garnish with the whole stalks of asparagus and the remaining cherry tomatoes. Drizzle with the dressing.
Serve this delicious salad with a basket of nice hot rolls alongside, a glass of good red wine, and perhaps something wickedly chocolatey for dessert. May I suggest these Molten Chocolate Babycakes?