Ranchero Beef Salad with Lime-Chipotle Dressing

  • Active Time 25m
  • Total Time 1h 25m

Serves 4

This wonderful recipe is developed by Terry Finlayson, a talented food writer who attended Peter Kump's New York Cooking School before working in restaurants in New York and Puerto Rico. A former associate cookbook editor at the Culinary Institute of America, Terry writes on a freelance basis with the taste-testing assistance of her two children, Gabriel and Alanna. Terry's recipe assumes your picnic is taking place within reach of your kitchen (and of course, it's not meant just for picnics), but if you plan on taking this any distance, cook the beef and make the dressing ahead and keep them in separate containers. You will also want to roast the poblanos on the grill in advance, but the other ingredients can be taken whole and cut or sliced at the last minute. WINE SUGGESTION: A French Burgundy from the northern region or a fine Pinot Noir from the West Coast will bring out the full character of this zesty dish.


  • For Dressing:
  • 1 canned chipotle chile, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from canned chipotles)
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • For Dry Rub and Beef:
  • 2 tablespoons pure red chile powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 strip sirloin steaks, prime or choice grade, about 10 ounces each and 1 inch thick
  • For Salad:
  • 1 head Romaine lettuce, torn into pieces
  • 1 poblano chile, roasted, peeled, seeded and sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 12 yellow teardrop, pear or cherry tomatoes
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into large cubes
  • 2 radishes, sliced
  • 4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup pitted black olives, sliced
  • 1 cup sour cream


TO PREPARE DRESSING: Mix the chipotle, garlic, adobo sauce, lime juice, and vinegar in a bowl and mash to combine. Slowly whisk in the oils to incorporate. Season with salt and pepper and taste the dressing; add more minced chipotle if you prefer it hotter.

TO PREPARE MEAT: Mix the chile powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Lightly rub the mixture into the beef and let it sit in the refrigerator for about 1 hour. Meanwhile, prepare the grill.

Grill the steaks over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes each side for medium-rare, 4 minutes for medium, or to desired doneness. Remove the meat, let it rest for 5 minutes, and slice across the grain into 1/4-inch thick slices (the beef can also be served at room temperature).

TO PREPARE SALAD: Place the lettuce in a mixing bowl and toss with about one quarter of the dressing, or enough to lightly coat the leaves. Spread the greens on a large serving platter. Arrange the sliced steak over the center of the lettuce. Arrange the poblano, onion, red and yellow tomatoes, and avocado around the steak. Sprinkle the radishes, cheese and olives over the whole salad. Drizzle some of the dressing over the entire salad and serve any remaining dressing on the side, along with the sour cream. Serve your guests, or have them help themselves from the platter.

HELPFUL TIPS: You may sauté the steak for about the same time described for grilling; we found that more of the rub flavor remained after cooking, although the smoky flavor from the grill was missing. Serve with a good, crusty French bread.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Harper Collins. All rights reserved.

RecID 5214

nutrition information per serving

1299 calories; 113g total fat; 194mg cholesterol; 996mg sodium; 24g carbohydrates; 9g fiber; 52g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

Sign Up for Cooking.com Newsletters Here

Get recipes, private sale alerts and more goodies, oh joy!

Follow Cooking.com