Make it Naked

Spicy Basil, Tomato, Beef Salad and Some Wine

I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to summer. You know why? Because something fancy happened. Someone sent me wine, you guys…for free! Like “Hey we like your blog. Want some wine?” How nice was that?!

The kind people at Chateau Ste Michelle contacted me and asked if I’d be interested in trying a few bottles of their Rieslings.  Hold please…let me think…

They sent three bottles. Dry Riesling, Riesling, and Sweet Riesling. I’d like to tell you all about the bouquet, the finish, the fermentation process and residual sugars, but let’s be honest, I’d be making it up. I had to google most of the previous sentence. You should probably just go here and get all that good info from the experts. What I do know is I like when delicious wine shows up at my front door.   

I invited some friends over to help me taste. I couldn’t drink three bottles alone and then write something coherent. The Dry Riesling was by far the group favorite. I normally enjoy my wine red, big, and bold, but I actually really liked this wine. It was crisp and really refreshing. The kind of wine I want to drink outside on my patio. The other two were a little too sweet for me. The Riesling was not as sweet as most Rieslings I have tried in the past but the Sweet Riesling, well…duh. Alcoholic cotton candy in fluid form. If that’s your thing then this is your wine. Jon and I agreed we’d buy the Dry Riesling again. It was really quite unlike any Riesling we’ve had before. The best part of this whole thing…I just saw these wines in Target for about $10. Sweet deal. Literally.

With my vast knowledge and background in wine and food pairings I recalled I read on the tasting sheet they sent, that Rieslings go well with spicy food, so I made you a salad. A spicy beef salad. Seared beef, ripe summer tomatoes, the last of the basil plant and a spicy, salty dressing to finish. What a combo. It’s my farewell to summer salad. Goodbye summer. You’ll be missed. Thanks for the fresh veggies, the hot sun, the salty beach and the free wine.

If you’d like more information about Chateau Ste. Michelle Rieslings go check out their wine page. Then get yourself a glass of Riesling and a ribeye.

Spicy Basil, Tomato, Beef Salad (adapted from Cooking Light)

1 tablespoon canola oil
12 ounces ribeye, trimmed
kosher salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons low-sodium tamari sauce (or soy sauce)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh lemongrass (optional)
1 tablespoon toasted (or dark) sesame oil
2 teaspoons chili paste (not curry chili paste; you can use sriracha if you can’t find chili paste)
1 1/2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1 cup thinly sliced cucumber, quartered
4 medium tomatoes (I used what was left of our plants, plus some yellow and red from the market)
2 medium shallots, thinly sliced


  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Heat an ovenproof skillet over medium high heat. Add the canola oil and spread around pan. Let the oil heat for a few seconds while you season both sides of the steak with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the steak to the pan. Let it sit and brown for 5 minutes. Don’t lift it up until the 5 minutes is up. Flip after the 5 minutes and do the same thing on the other side.
  4. Remove from stovetop and place the pan in the oven. Let cook for about 5 minutes. This should leave your steak about medium. Adjust the cooking time according to your preference. Remove from oven and pan. Let the steak rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing.
  5. In a small bowl whisk together the tamari, vinegar, lemongrass, sesame oil and chili paste.
  6. In a large shallow serving dish, combine the basil, tomatoes, cucumbers and shallots. Top with sliced beef and drizzle with dressing.


  1. I used ribeye because it was the only organic, grass-fed beef at the store. It’s important to me, so I didn’t get another type of cut. The original recipe calls for hanger or flank steak.
  2. Use whatever tomatoes and basil you can find. Also, you can use scallions instead of shallots.
  3. OK, so now maybe I’m ready for fall and some bourbon pumpkin praline ice cream.

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Posted on September 10, 2012

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