Steak Salad Pita

May 27, 2007

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In 1762, so the story goes, James Montagu, fourth Earl of Sandwich, had his cook stuff meat and cheese between two slices of bread so he wouldn’t have to leave the gaming table. It was one of those Eureka moments in history. It’s always seemed curious to me, though, that a notorious 18th century English gambler had to invent the sandwich. Everyone knows cooks in the mid-East had been stuffing food inside bread since at least the Pharaohs. One day when you’re on a roll, try this handy pita lunch. But grab some extra napkins. You wouldn’t want to drip on the cards. SAM

1 (1 to 1 1/2-pound) flank steak
2 medium red onions, finely chopped (1 cup)
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
Juice of 1 lemon (2 tablespoons)
2 teaspoons capers
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
4 pita rounds
2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and cut into thin wedges
4 Romaine lettuce leaves, shredded

Broil the steak 3 inches from the heat until done (5 to 6 minutes per side for rare). Cut in half lengthwise, then across the grain into very thin, slanting slices. Cool briefly and combine with the onion, oil, sour cream, horseradish, salt, and pepper. Cover and chill 2 to 3 hours. Roughly mash the avocado with the mayonnaise and lemon juice. Add the capers and parsley, stirring until just blended. To serve, cut the pita rounds in half and fill each with 1/8 of the steak mixture, avocado mixture, tomato, and lettuce.
Makes 4 servings.