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Dinner in Minutes: Berries Sweeten a Meaty Pasta Salad

July 14, 2008

Here’s a cool, fresh berry and steak salad for warm summer evenings. It’s a one-dish meal that can be ready in less than 15 minutes.

Berries are at the height of their season. They add sweetness to the tangy dressing of Dijon mustard- and horseradish-spiked mayonnaise thinned with a little water.

Steak goes well with the horseradish in the sauce, but for an even quicker dinner, substitute cooked chicken, shrimp or deli roast beef.

This meal contains 573 calories per serving with 34 percent of calories from fat.

WINE SUGGESTION:

Wow, there must be 35 flavors to match here. I’d try a fruity Australian shiraz.

HELPFUL HINTS:

_Any berries or other summer fruit can be used.

_Any type of quick-cooking steak can be used.

_An easy way to chop chives is to snip them with a scissors.

COUNTDOWN:

_Place water for pasta on to boil.

_Saute steak.

_Assemble salad.

SHOPPING LIST

To buy: { pound skirt steak; 1 package fusilli (corkscrew) pasta; 1 bag washed, ready-to-eat salad greens; 1 bunch chives (optional); 1 container raspberries; 1 container blueberries; 1 bottle prepared horseradish.

Staples: Vegetable oil spray, reduced-fat mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, salt, peppercorns.

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BEEF AND BERRY PASTA SALAD

4 ounces fusilli (corkscrew) pasta (about 1-{ cups)

Vegetable oil spray

{ pound skirt steak

Salt and freshly ground pepper

3 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise

2 tablespoons warm water

2 tablespoons prepared horseradish

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

4 cups washed, ready-to-eat salad greens

} cup raspberries

} cup blueberries

4 tablespoons chopped chives (optional)

Place a large saucepan of water on to boil. Add pasta and cook 8 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a small nonstick skillet over high heat and spray with vegetable oil. Add steak and brown 2 minutes; turn and brown 2 more minutes. Lower heat to medium and cook another 2 minutes. A meat thermometer should read 145 for rare or 160 for medium. Set aside on a cutting board and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

In a medium bowl, whisk mayonnaise, water, horseradish and mustard until smooth. Drain pasta, rinse with cold water, drain again thoroughly and add to the bowl. Slice steak against the grain into thin strips. Add to the bowl with any meat juices. Toss well.

Arrange greens on two dinner plates. Spoon on pasta salad, and sprinkle berries and chives on top. Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 573 calories (34 percent from fat), 21.3 g fat (5.6 g saturated, 8.7 g monounsaturated), 64 mg cholesterol, 32.7 g protein, 63.4 g carbohydrates, 8.5 g fiber, 465 mg sodium.

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(c) 2008, The Miami Herald.

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