July 17, 2008

Berries Sweeten a Meaty Pasta Salad

By Linda Gassenheimer

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.

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

Beef and Berry Pasta Salad


4 ounces fusilli (corkscrew) pasta (about 1 1/2 cups)

Vegetable cooking spray

1/2 pound skirt steak

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

3 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise

2 tablespoons prepared horseradish

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

4 cups washed, ready-to-eat salad greens

3/4 cup raspberries

3/4 cup blueberries

4 tablespoons chopped chives (optional)

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

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

In a medium bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons warm water, the horseradish and mustard until smooth. Drain the pasta, rinse with cold water, drain again thoroughly and add to the bowl. Slice the steak against the grain into thin strips. Add to the bowl with any meat juices. Toss well.

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

Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 573 calories (34 percent from fat), 21 grams fat (6 grams saturated), 64 milligrams cholesterol, 33 grams protein, 63 grams carbohydrates, 9 grams dietary fiber, 465 milligrams sodium.


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.


Place water for pasta on to boil.

Saute steak.

Assemble salad.


To buy: 1/2 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.

Linda Gassenheimer is a food writer for McClatchy Newspapers.

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