Think you can’t have a proper dinner on the 5:2 diet? Think again. Quick-fried beef with salsa verde anyone? #weightlossjourney
If you’re treating your calorie-restricted ‘diet’ days like an endurance race, filled with nothing but carrot sticks and misery, stop right there!
Your two ‘fast’ days may be low cal but there’s absolutely no reason for you to miss out on a ‘proper’ dinner with the rest of the family. And there’s no need for those dinners to be low in taste either.
This lean, clean recipe for quick-fried beef with salsa verde packs a huge flavour punch that certainly won’t leave you feeling deprived.
Although the classic salsa verde is Italian in origin and packed with parsley, the idea of a green herb sauce spans lots of culinary cultures and has spawned dozens of variations. If you’re a fan of basil, mint, thyme or even tarragon, feel free to experiment with combinations until you make the recipe your own.
Tweak the other ingredients too, by all means – I love the salty tang of capers but you might prefer to go light on these. And your acid hit can come from lemon juice or red wine vinegar – whatever you prefer.
Although I’m serving it here to garnish a gorgeous, lean cut of beef, use your personalised salsa verde to add zing to grilled fish or salads too.
Quick-fried Beef with Salsa Verde
The salsa verde tastes even better if prepared in advance and left to rest in the fridge for an hour or so before cooking.
Serves 2 • Ready in 15 minutes
10g flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 leaves basil, chopped
2 leaves mint, chopped
2 cocktail gherkins, finely chopped
1 tsp capers, drained
2 anchovy fillets, drained and chopped
1 tsp red wine vinegar
Juice of ½ lime
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
100g broccoli, cut into small florets
2 × 150g beef escalopes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp rapeseed oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
• Place the parsley, basil, mint, gherkins, capers, anchovies, vinegar, lime juice, Dijon mustard and extra virgin olive oil in a bowl and stir together. Cover and leave to rest for at least 5 minutes.
• Steam the broccoli over a pan of boiling water for 5 minutes or until just tender.
• Wrap the beef lightly in clingfilm and beat with a rolling pin until about half a centimetre thick then remove from the clingfilm and season on both sides with the salt and pepper.
• Heat the rapeseed oil in a wide lidded frying pan to a high heat. Add the garlic, stir, then immediately add the beef. Fry for just 1–2 minutes on each side. Turn off the heat, stir in the broccoli, place the lid on the pan and leave to rest for 3–5 minutes. Serve with the salsa verde drizzled over.
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