I have never been much of a salad person. In fact, I can remember a time in the not so distant past where I had a personal vendetta against salads. I just didn’t see the point in them. Were they healthy? Sure. I guess I could condone eating one if you were on a crazy health kick. But I still thought there were better ways to eat healthy foods than choking down dry, frilly lettuce. If i was going to eat a salad it was going to be covered in cheese and croutons and drowning in ranch and only have iceberg lettuce. So essentially, if I was going to eat a salad, it was going to be as far from a healthy salad as I could possibly get.
My viewpoint has changed a little bit… I’m still not a huge salad lover but I do occasionally get a craving for a good salad. And when the craving hit I figure I better run with it, because who knows when I’ll be in the mood for a salad again. The mood hit last night. I wanted steak (which was also a shocker because I hardly ever eat red meat), but I didn’t want to feel like a fat lard after eating a t-bone and a loaded baked potato. The answer? Steak salad! I did some digging and Food & Wine had a bomb recipe for grilled balsamic flank steak.
Did you know flank steak is SO easy to cook? As in it might be one of the easiest things you can make in your kitchen. And it seems impressive too- I’m not sure why but everyone is always impressed by a nice piece of meat. It requires so little work and so little time. It was the perfect answer for my steak/salad craving after a long day.
But what’s a salad without it’s toppings? I was feeling summery and I was instantly reminded of 2 summers ago when my friend, Reidy and I cooked a huge summer feast for our friends. Our guy friends had spent the day duck hunting and came back with more duck than you can imagine. So Reidy and I went to work and served it up with grilled peaches stuffed with goat cheese and served on a bed of arugula. It felt fancy AF for a college student’s dinner.
This salad is so satisfying and won’t leave you craving a cheeseburger after (like most salads do). The peaches add the perfect twist for summer and the steak marinade doubles as a dressing so you’ll have the whole thing ready in no time.
What’s your favorite salad? I’d love to know! Who knows, maybe I’m on a salad kick…
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves
1-pound flank steak
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 peaches, halved with pits removed
2 oz goat cheese
½ cup mixed nuts, chopped
1 bag mixed greens (I used half spring mix, half arugula)
In a blender, combine the vinegar, oil, garlic and thyme and puree until smooth. In a large glass or ceramic dish, pour ½ the marinade over the steak. Reserve the remaining half as salad dressing. Let stand for at least 15 minutes.
Heat a grill pan. Season the steak with salt and pepper. Grill over moderately high heat, turning once, until medium, about 8 minutes per side. Transfer the steak to a board and let stand for 10 minutes. Slice into ½ inch thin strips once rested.
While the steak rests, place your peaches, cut side down, on the grill pan. Let sit for 3-5 minutes (depending on ripeness- you want the peaches to be soft, but not falling apart).
Flip peaches over and fill pit with goat cheese. Let sit in grill pan for 2-3 more minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
To assemble the salads:
Divide your greens between two bowls
Spoon remaining steak marinade over greens
Place sliced steak and peaches on top of greens
Add dollops of goat cheese to the salad (optional)
- Sprinkle with chopped nuts