This do-ahead but special-occasion lunch salad is lovely eaten in an outdoor setting.
650g Rare Roast Beef Fillet (recipe follows)
40g Parmesan (shaved)
8 small handfuls small salad greens (rocket, land cress, watercress or microgreens)
Smoky Eggplant (recipe follows)
60ml–80ml extra virgin olive oil
8 cherry tomatoes (cut in half horizontally)
18–24 arbequina olives (small, sweet, greenish-brown variety from Spain)
8 lemon wedges (optional)
Slice beef as thinly as possible and arrange on plates or a platter, topped with Parmesan and accompanied with salad greens, caperberries and Smoky Eggplant. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve cherry tomatoes and olives on the side. If you wish, garnish with lemon wedges.
Rare Roast Beef FilletServes 8
1.2kg–1.5kg whole beef fillet (ask your butcher to trim off silver skin and chain, which is a piece that hangs on the side)
small sprig rosemary, oregano or thyme
30ml (2 tbsp) olive oil
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 220oC. Remove beef from refrigerator and leave at room temperature for 20–30 minutes.
Place herb sprig on low-sided roasting tray.
Place beef in a bowl with oil and pepper and roll around to coat. Transfer beef to tray and place in oven, preferably on top rack, and roast for 15–20 minutes or until rare. Beef should be brown and firm on outside, but when you press it with your thumb it will feel soft in the centre. Remove from oven, cover tray with 2–3 tea towels and allow to rest for 10 minutes. (This allows the muscles to relax and juices to disperse throughout the meat.)
Cool, cover and refrigerate for use in the Rare Roast Beef Fillet Salad.
If the mixture appears too thick to drop from a spoon, slowly pour 1–2 tbsp olive oil through the feed tube of the food processor while the motor is running.
330g (1 large) eggplant
10g (3 cloves) Roasted Garlic
45ml (3 tbsp) lemon juice (juice of 1–2 lemons)
30ml (2 tbsp) tahini (sesame seed paste)
¼ tsp ground cumin
½ small red chilli (finely chopped; seeded if less spicy preferred)
½ tsp flaky sea salt
1⁄8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 180oC.
Prick eggplant with a fork in several places and place on a low-sided roasting tray. Bake for 35–45 minutes, turning occasionally, until sides are charred and flesh is soft.
Cool eggplant slightly, then remove skin. Place pulp in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add remaining ingredients and process until almost smooth.
Taste for seasoning, adding extra lemon juice, tahini, salt or chilli if desired.