Gorgeous vegetables and local meats are signatures of Seasonal Montana dinners. Here I share one of my recipes featuring a bison T-bone steak from North Bridger Bison. Thank you to the following for all the local growing: Streamline Farms, Gallatin Valley Botanical, Amaltheia Organic Dairy, and TerraWorks.
Favorite cut of steak, seasoned with oil, salt, and pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large limes, divided
½ small red onion
1¼ teaspoons granulated sugar, divided
¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
¼ cup packed finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves, plus whole leaves and tender stems for serving
¼ cup olive oil
1 medium or 2 small heads butter lettuce, such as Boston or Bibb or any of the “living lettuces” by Streamline Farms
2 small cucumbers or 1 medium English cucumber
1 cup multi-colored cherry tomatoes
2 large ripe peaches
4 ounces feta cheese
¼ cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds), toasted (see notes for instructions)
Freshly ground black pepper
Begin by cooking the steak:
Heat butter in a cast-iron pan and cook the steak to your desired doneness. Alternatively, cook on the grill and finish with butter. Transfer cooked steak to a carving board and tent with foil until ready to cut and serve.
Finely grate the zest of 1 large lime. Add 1 teaspoon to a small bowl and reserve the rest for topping the salad. Juice 1 tablespoon lime juice into the bowl. Thinly slice the red onion and add to the bowl.
Add ¼ teaspoon of the granulated sugar and ¼ teaspoon of the kosher salt. Toss to coat the onions and set aside to pickle while you prep the rest of the salad, at least 15 minutes, tossing the onions once or twice to coat in the lime juice.
For the dressing:
Juice the remaining 1½ limes into a small bowl or jar until you have ¼ cup of juice. Add the chopped garlic, chopped cilantro leaves, olive oil, remaining 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, and remaining ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Shake or whisk to combine. Set aside.
Prep the following, adding them to a large salad bowl as you go: Tear lettuce leaves into bite-sized pieces. Thinly slice cucumbers, or halve 1 English cucumber lengthwise, then thinly slice. Halve cherry tomatoes. Halve and pit peaches, then cut into ½-inch-thick slices. Crumble in feta cheese.
Top the salad with pumpkin seeds, the drained pickled onion (discarding any liquid), reserved lime zest, and a handful of torn cilantro leaves and tender stems. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle half the dressing over the salad and gently toss to coat. Arrange sliced meat on top of greens, drizzle with remaining dressing, and enjoy.
Both the dressing and pickled onions can be made up to 3 days in advance and refrigerated. Let the dressing come to room temperature and whisk before serving.
To toast raw pumpkin seeds: Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add ¼ cup pumpkin seeds and a pinch of kosher salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 4 minutes.