I was hoping Mother Nature might take pity on us by wielding her mighty weather wand because October has arrived and with it, the promise of Fall. All things apples and pumpkins, steaming bowls of comforting soup to stave off a late afternoon chill in the air. New wooly socks and freshly knitted scarves in blended hues of purple and rust. Leaves that change color seemingly overnight, then fall to the ground before one realizes it. Standing on the porch in the evening to inhale the fresh air and scent of burning wood from a fireplace nearby. Cuddling and snuggling…
Wait. Not necessarily.
It’s a sweltering 94 degrees today, and for those who live inland in San Diego county, the temperatures are well past 100 degrees. There’s a breeze wafting through our house, but it’s a warm one and so the fan cycling the air beneath my desk sends welcome relief. As much as it is not all that unusual for our weather to be warm well into Fall, this is a bit much, and it’s had me thinking about the idea of looking forward to something often elusive — for me, at least — instead of embracing that which is today, and now.
The hubster and I often chide ourselves for being the weather nerds we are, but so be it. And just to confirm it, I have a weather widget on all my devices tagged with my favorite cities — or cities where my favorite people live — and I frequently check to see how their weather differs from ours. Yes, really.
Guess what? It seems to be pretty warm most everywhere today. Allow me to illustrate:
Virginia (my sister lives there) is not quite as warm as it is here, but 75 degrees today is quite nice for October 2nd even if there are thunder storms.
Toronto (where I had the great pleasure of visiting recently) enjoyed a balmy 68 degrees today.
Western New York state (my childhood BFF lives there) had rain, but it was 66 degrees. That’s warm by my standards and rain would be most welcomed.
San Francisco (teh ManBoy goes to school there) was most likely baking in the high 80s temps today and I heard from his roomie, so check.
Rota, Spain (my favorite childhood home) enjoyed 80 degree temps. Beach, anyone?
Even London, England (favorite vacation destination) managed 61 degrees today. Not enough for more than two light layers. Maybe.
Fall? What Fall? Seriously?
I’ll blatantly ignore the calendar (and far more delicately with apologies, of course, the lovely New England folks nudging the rest of us along their pipe dream), to wallow instead in the moment of now. Today. Life where I live. Life where fresh produce grows all year long and Farmers’ Markets don’t close for the season. Really! Life where the sun shines and shines. I need to embrace the warm days and nights craved in June when the calendar said I should, instead of knowing they’d show up as they always do in September and October. Brace myself for the piercing sunlight so normal here for this time of year. Welcome the nights of cool relief from the day’s heat. People who deal with excessive humidity just don’t understand the wonder of it. It’s not the same as their summer. Their heavy heat and humidity. Not even close.
Relax and enjoy that life is good, I say. Regardless.
Perhaps we’ll have a salad for dinner since I can’t bear to think of turning on the oven for the Macaroni & Cheese I promised the hubster. No, this recipe for Cobb Style Steak Salad will be something that the barbie can be fired up for if you’d like, or more easily, a panini pan used if one is handy. Either way, it’s all about enjoying the fresh flavors of a great dinner salad — warm weather or not.
Cobb Style Steak Salad
Steak Marinade Ingredients
1/2 c. red wine
2 T red wine vinegar
2 T Worcestershire
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 sprigs rosemary, fresh
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
6-8 oz. of lean beef such as sirloin
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, sliced
1/2 bunch watercress
1/2 head radicchio, sliced
1-2 tomatoes, seeded and sliced
2 pieced bacon, cooked, drained, and chopped
3 hard-boiled eggs, quartered
2 green onions, sliced
2 oz. good blue cheese, crumbled
Salad Dressing Ingredients
1/8 c. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. lemon juice, fresh
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T white truffle oil*
1/8 c. extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
- Place the meat in a small bowl or plastic bag. Mix the marinade ingredients and pour over the meat. Allow to marinate, chilled, at least 1 hour — or overnight if you’re preparing ahead.
- Mix the salad dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together or add all to a small jar and shake.
- Prepare bacon as you prefer and allow to drain well on paper towels before chopping.
- Prepare the beef to your liking — we enjoy medium (him) to medium rare (me) — about 5 minutes on each side, but check with this test.
- Allow beef to sit at least 10 minutes before slicing.
- Arrange salad greens and radicchio on a large platter, or if you choose, individual plates.
- Spread the slices of beef across the greens.
- Add the tomato slices, then the quartered hard boiled eggs.
- Sprinkle over the bacon, green onions, and crumbled blue cheese.
- Drizzle the salad dressing over and serve.
- I go through my old posted recipes occasionally for a variety of reasons and saw this one from June 2007 crying for attention. Originally, I made the above Cobb Style Steak Salad recipe thinking I’d replace the photos of the old one, but no surprise, I made some alterations in the recipe. I swear. But with the same “bones” this recipe is also excellent — with better photos!
- Yes, a Cobb Salad is a particular type of salad, but I figured this was a decent variation. The idea is to make a great dinner salad — something we truly enjoy no matter the season. Salad isn’t something just for summer!
- On the beef — any cut you prefer will do as long as it is something that doesn’t require braising to tenderize it such as chuck. You can get decadent if it’s in the budget and grill filet for this — it’s lovely and a little goes a long way. I marinated more than we needed for this recipe but saved it for another use.
- Okay, so I used grapeseed oil for this. I’m sort of shifty like that. Use the oil you enjoy — no matter. Just say NO to bottled dressing. It’s so easy to make your own.
- True confessions — if I’d have had more avocado, it would have been cubed in this salad. It belongs here. (See? I sneaked a few slices in at the end.)
- On the greens — You can truly use what you like. Don’t get caught up in the watercress and radicchio unless you’re like me and long for something with a bit of flavor. Both watercress and radicchio are wonderful in this salad because of all the other ingredients. The flavors in both hold up against the others and are quite wonderful. Sometimes it’s great to step outside your salad comfort zone. Try escarole, or endive. Arugula. Add a bit of cilantro. Be creative!
- I guess the point of this is that salad can be a meal in and of itself. We love dinner salads and eat them all year long incorporating seasonal ingredients as we go. My quest with this would be to get people to think about what’s possible with salad — that it’s more than a bowl of greens poured from a plastic bag and doused with a bottled dressing.