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Zucchini and Steak Salad with Basil Dressing

Servings: 2



  • 3 small/250g zucchini - shaved lengthwise
  • 1 medium/150g cucumber edible skin variety - sliced into 1/8” thick rounds or ovals
  • 1 medium/125g red bell pepper roasted* - sliced into ¼” strips
  • Or
  • 1/3 c /100g roasted red peppers
  • 1 medium/150g tomato – cut in ¼” thick semi circles
  • ½ lb/225g steak rib eye, strip steak, flank, top sirloin
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • ¼ c/100g chickpeas cooked

Basil Dressing

  • 1 c/40 g basil leaves packed
  • ¼ c/10 g fresh parsley
  • 1/3 c/50 g lightly toasted walnuts chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ tsp/4 ml ground pepper
  • ¼ tsp/2 ml salt
  • 3 tbsp/45 ml olive oil
  • 1 tbsp/15 ml balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp/30 ml dry vermouth



  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor or high powered blender on high, stopping and scraping down the sides regularly until a very few flakes of greenery are left. If needed add more vermouth 1 tsp at a time.


  • To create “ribbons” of zucchini you can use a mandoline slicer set to 1/8”, but if you don’t have that specialized tool, a peeler works as well. Set the zucchini on the work surface, hold the sides and peel lengthwise away from yourself.
  • Prepare rest of vegetables and combine in bowl with chickpeas tossing lightly to combine.

Pan sear steak

  • Heat a heavy bottomed (preferably cast iron) pan on high. Add butter and swirl to coat pan.
  • Season both sides of steak with salt and pepper.
  • When pan is hot enough that butter is just starting to brown, add steak. Cook each side of steak on high for 2 minutes. Turn heat to medium and continue cooking until steak reaches desired doneness (I prefer medium-rare).
  • Remove from pan and allow to sit for 1-2 minutes. Slice the steak into 1/4” thick strips, or as thin as you can get.
  • Assemble the salad on the plates, placing half the vegetable mixture in a heap (it does take some delicacy to make the zucchini ribbons curl photogenically). Top with half the steak slices and drizzle with dressing.


You will probably have a bit more dressing than you need for two salads, but some people might want more or less. If you have a bit left over, serve it with some fresh bread!
*To roast a red pepper without heating up the oven or a grill: I stole this method from Smitten Kitchen, but it works really well when you want a little char flavor without a bunch of effort. Unfortunately it only works if you have a gas stove.
Turn on a burner and rest the washed and dried pepper on the tines over the flame. Turn with tongs as each side chars.