August 15, 2008

Thai Ground Beef Salad

Cilantro lovers, rejoice! This salad dressing is full of cilantro-- and lots of other flavor, including rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, a little sugar, garlic salt. The dressing makes the dish. 

I have to say, this is the only salad I make that is topped with ground beef (or ground turkey). But the easy meat and greens and Thai flavors make a great combination, and slightly addictive. (If for some reason you didn't have or want a big pile of greens as the base for your meal, I was thinking you could serve the delicious veggie-meat mixture atop a mound of mashed potatoes, or over a bowl of rice.) This dinner salad is a great way to use a lot of summer vegetables all at once. Any leftover dressing is great on other salads, or on a sandwich, or for dipping slices of baguette into. 

Thai Ground Beef Salad 
from Family Circle 

1/3 C vegetable oil
1/3 C rice wine vinegar
1 T soy sauce
1 t Asian chile paste (optional)
1 T dark sesame oil
1 t sugar
1 t ground ginger
1/4 t garlic salt
1 C cilantro, chopped

Meat and Vegetables:
2 lbs. ground beef (or ground turkey)
1/2 t garlic salt 
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-in. sticks
1 sweet red pepper, seeded and sliced into 1-in. sticks
3 scallions, sliced
plenty of lettuce, spinach, or other salad greens

For dressing, whisk together all ingredients. 

Cook meat in large skillet over medium-high heat until no longer pink. Drain off any liquid. Stir in garlic salt.

Add carrots and red pepper to skillet, and cook 2 minutes.

Stir about half of the dressing, and all the scallions, into meat mixture. Remove from heat.

To serve, pile salad greens on plates and top with meat mixture. Drizzle with a little extra dressing. Serve with sliced baguette if desired.  

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