By Jessica Roy The Weather Channel is unrelenting, but that doesn't mean that we can't continue with the springtime activity attempts and try to welcome the season accordingly. When the clocks jump forward and we get that extra hint of sun-streaked daylight, green buds start peeking their heads out of the cold earth for some breathing room.
Traditionally speaking, some of the first fresh veggies harvested include peas, spring onions, asparagus and radishes. While we are still a bit premature on bountiful harvests, I wanted to get a kick-start on my spring eating.
Even if it means putting an extra layer on, it's time to fire up the grill for its inaugural run of the season. This light supper includes tender flank steak, seared full of charred and smoke-kissed flavor. The light salad of pickled veggies is tossed with delicate spring pea shoots rather than lettuce for a gentle earthy flavor, evoking memories of warmer days. Here I'm using green beans rather than asparagus, butfeel free to throw them into the mix also if they look delicious at the market.
Marinated Flank Steak and Pickled Spring Veggie Salad
Marinated Flank Steak
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
1 Tbs. sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. red chili flakes
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 lb. flank steak
1. Combine all ingredients (except the steak) into a mixing bowl and whisk thoroughly.
2. Place the steak into a zipper-lock bag, and pour the marinade mixture on top of the steak. Seal the bag tightly, and refrigerate for 1-5 hours.
3. Heat a well seasoned grill or a grill pan to medium-high heat. Grill the meat for 4-5 minutes on each side (for medium rare). Remove from heat and allow the meat to rest for several minutes before slicing to serve.
Pickled Spring Veggie Salad
1/4 lb. green beans, cleaned and ends trimmed
6 radishes, cleaned and thinly sliced
1 spring onion (or sweet yellow onion), thinly sliced
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 cups water
1 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. salt
6-8 whole peppercorns
1 tsp. herbes de Provence
1 container fresh spring pea shoots
Crumbled goat cheese
1. Prepare an ice bath in a bowl that will fit the medium sauce pan and set it aside.
2. In a medium sauce pan, combine vinegar, water, sugar, salt, peppercorns, and herbs. Stir until salt and sugar are dissolved.
3. Add the beans, radishes and onion to the liquid, and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes.
4. Remove the pan from heat, and place the pan containing the cooked veggies directly into the ice bath, and allow the mixture to cool.
5. Once cooled, toss the pickles with the fresh spring pea shoots and top with goat cheese crumbles to serve.
Jessica Roy is a specialty chef and caterer, food writer and chef instructor, and owner of Shiso Kitchen in Somerville. Follow her at http://blogs.lowellsun.com/yourpersonalchef.