Beef Salad with Fresh Figs, Rocket and Mozzarella and Basil Dressing

, from Issue #35. August, 2015
Photography by Manja Wachsmuth.
Beef Salad with Fresh Figs, Rocket and Mozzarella and Basil Dressing

A corner of topside is a great, economical cut of beef to roast. It’s best served rare and must be cooked at a high temperature, rested well and sliced very thinly. It’s delicious in sandwiches and rolls with horseradish mustard.


1½ kilogram piece, corner of beef topside
olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

6 fresh figs, ripped in half
2 handfuls baby rocket
1 small red radicchio lettuce
1-2 large balls fresh mozzarella in whey, drained and patted dry (I used Clevedon Valley  Buffalo Mozzarella)
8 strips of pancetta cooked until crisp

½ cup packed basil
1 tablespoon capers
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
finely grated zest 1 lemon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ cup olive oil
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat the oven to 220˚C.

Rub the beef with a little olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Place on a rack set over a baking dish and roast for 40 minutes. Don’t baste the meat. Transfer to a plate, cover loosely and cool.

Dressing: Put the basil, capers, mustard, lemon zest and juice and the garlic in a food processor and pulse to combine. With the motor running, drizzle in the oil then add the cheese and process again. Season.

To assemble: Thinly slice the beef. Arrange all the ingredients on a large platter and drizzle with the basil dressing.