A warm, hearty winter salad with spicy caramelised pumpkin, charred green beans, abundant herbs and a zesty chilli dressing, served with seared steak. Jump to Recipe
I really want to be able to write something interesting here, like some kind of adventuring or new food discovery or meaningful thoughts for the day. But I’m actually unusually stuck. The last few weeks have been consumed with wading thigh-deep through assignments, scrambling to keep on top of course notes and then being intermittently distracted and perfecting the art of mindless procrastination. I don’t think you particularly want to hear about my chronic illness case report on peripheral vascular disease, the ins and outs of childhood rashes or how to give painless flu vaccines (I’ve done about 200 in the past few weeks, being the start of flu season here). Nothing to write home about, essentially.
There have been a few brighter patches – feeding 6 for a cosy and boisterous Sunday evening slow- cooked beef cheek ragu with homemade ciabatta, finished off with a bubbling, caramelised skillet of gooey dark chocolate and pear crumble. Heading out to brunch for a winter bowl of black sesame and spiced fig porridge and talking all things London with Bec & Camilla. Finding the cutest new cafe just down the road from my house, filled with three tiny tables and a takeaway window cabinet full of home baking, double chocolate brownies and maple walnut banana bread, serving top notch Coffee Supreme brew. AND they have a black tahini avocado toast on their menu – win. That’ll be getting me through exam season. In the meantime, I’m experimenting with drizzling tahini on my cinnamon banana porridge, whizzing up pesto with the dregs of kale and parsley in the fridge, and discovering how much I love roast butternut squash (thanks, Ottolenghi).
Said roast butternut squash is a vital component of today’s Thai beef salad with caramelised pumpkin & green beans. It’s one of those fast weeknight meals that is on the table in half an hour (maybe 40 minutes), and is so hearty, warm and filling you hardly realise you’re eating salad in the middle of winter. Just maybe wear gloves when you toss the pumpkin in the spice marinade..I learnt the hard way when my bright yellow turmeric stained nails made me look like I had some strange disease. That important balance of zesty lime with fish sauce and sugar is taken to the next level with finely grated fresh ginger and an abundance of fresh herbs. Have I convinced you yet?
A warm, hearty winter salad with spicy caramelised pumpkin, charred green beans, abundant herbs and a zesty chilli dressing, served with seared steak. Adapted from Nadia Lim.
- 800 g butternut squash , skin on
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 3 cloves garlic , crushed
- 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- zest and juice of 1 lime
- 1 red chilli , finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
- 1 clove garlic , finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- a few large handfuls of green beans (300-400g)
- 1 cup chopped coriander
- 1/2 cup chopped mint
- a few large handfuls baby spinach
- 1/3 cup peanuts , toasted and chopped
- 300-400 g porterhouse steak (I usually allow ~150g per person)
Preheat the oven to 200°C fan-bake. Chop the butternut into chunks (leave the skin on) and spread out on a baking paper lined oven tray. In a small ramekin, mix together the ground coriander, turmeric, garlic, chili flakes, brown sugar and olive oil. Pour over the squash and toss to coat (wear gloves here if you don’t want to stain your nails yellow!). Bake for 20-30 minutes or until tender and just caramelised on the edges.
To make the dressing, combine all ingredients, stir to combine and set aside.
Heat a frying pan over high heat with a splash of olive oil. Add the beans and sautee until slightly charred and just tender, but retaining a bit of crunch. Set aside.
Season the steak with liberal salt and pepper. Over a high heat, sear on each side until cooked to your liking (with the fairly thin 200g porterhouse steak in the photo, I did 2 minutes on each side). Rest for 5-10 minutes wrapped in aluminum foil before slicing.
In a large bowl, combine the beans, coriander, mint, spinach, peanuts and roast butternut. Add the dressing and toss to combine. Serve with sliced steak.