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Meat, potatoes add heft to green salad

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    A meat and potatoes steakhouse salad, from a recipe by Melissa d’Arabian.

Generations of Americans have grown up heralding meat and potatoes as the classic dinner of choice. Who doesn’t love the taste of that time-honored combination, filling our bellies with the comfort of a juicy, fatty steak and fluffy, carby spuds?

If you’re torn between the lure of that meal and keeping the fat, red meat and carbs in check, I have discovered that with a little creativity any main dish can be turned into a salad — scratching the itch without ditching nutrition. So yes, meat and potatoes can be made healthier, and lighter, which is a bonus for summertime eating.

The recipe stretches one 8-ounce steak into a dish that feeds four people, which means alongside that tasty steak, each person will also be filled up with a slew of veggies. I used filet mignon because it’s a lean cut of beef, and since each eater needs only a couple of ounces of meat, the whole dish remains reasonably priced.

Cute baby potatoes on the salad mean you’ll also feel satisfied in a way that frankly only comes from a starchy side. In fact, the entire salad celebrates steakhouse flavors, including garlicky meaty mushrooms, flash-cooked asparagus, tomatoes, blue cheese, chives and a creamy dressing made from Dijon mustard and aromatic tarragon.

It’s like the steakhouse menu itself morphed into a complete meal on a plate.

MEAT AND POTATOES STEAKHOUSE SALAD

  • 6 cups of baby spinach or mixed greens
  • 1 (8-ounce) filet mignon, trimmed of fat
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 8 ounces sliced white mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 pound asparagus, steamed until just barely tender
  • 1/2 pound baby potatoes, boiled until tender
  • 4 small tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 ounce blue cheese, in crumbles or chunks
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • >> Tarragon-Dijon Dressing
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon (or 2 teaspoons fresh)
  • Salt and pepper

Place greens on large platter and set aside.

Heat heavy saute pan over medium- high. Sprinkle steak with salt, pepper, granulated garlic and half of olive oil, then cook to desired doneness, about 3-5 minutes per side. Remove steak from the pan and set aside to rest.

In the same saute pan, add the remaining olive oil, mushrooms and garlic, and cook just until mushrooms begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and set aside.

Make the dressing: Whisk together mustard, vinegar, water, olive oil and tarragon until creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Layer salad ingredients on plated greens, drizzle with dressing and serve. (May be chilled if preferred.) Serves 4.

Approximate nutritional information, per serving: 322 calories, 14 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 61 mg cholesterol, 493 mg sodium, 25 g carbohydrate, 7 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 25 g protein.

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