I prepared this years ago as part of an elegant spread for a book party we gave for Russell at a Perry Anderson’s rented house high in the hills of Bel Aire.
Decades later, I just made a variation for Angela’s baby shower substituting ponzu sauce for Thai fish sauce.
O.k.—here’s the recipe complete with variations and vegetarian options.
Marinate 1 ½ cup diced cucumbers with 1 ½ cup diced tomatoes, and ¼ cup chopped mint in ¾ cup lime juice mixed with ¼ cup Ponzu sauce.
Grill a good chunk of steak—rib eye, New York, whatever, rare to medium rare. Cut into thin slices.
Arrange a layer of lettuce on serving platter. Top with a layer of mint leaves cut in chiffonade (that would be strips).
Layer the marinated cucumbers and tomatoes on top.
Arrange bean sprouts on one side of platter, slices of meat on the other. Top with chopped mint and sprinkle more marinade over all.
Vegetarians can substitute the marinated or caramelized golden tofu (recipe #17 or #25 for the beef). Everyone might consider substituting green beans for bean sprouts. The bean sprouts look good, but I’ve noticed most people don’t like to eat them all that much, while, of course, in a buffet of salads, that grilled beef gets gobbled up instantly.
Again—feel free to play with colors and textures.