Saturday, May 12, 2012

Steak and Arugula Salad

Back home from our trip to DC and New York, we found that the greens I seeded last month really took off while we were gone. When we're lousy with arugula one of my favorite spring dishes is steak and arugula. This particular recipe is one I've come up with based on several takes on steak salads I've made before making liberal use of spices and various vegetables in addition to grass-fed flank steak and the arugula picked right from the garden. I cooked the steak, peppers, and onion on the Big Green Egg grill.
Cumin seeds, hot pimenton, and kosher salt ground in the mortar

Fresh oregano from the garden with a couple cloves of red garlic

Paste from the spices with a bit of red onion and olive oil

Red bells and red onion slices

Arugula

Roasting the peppers on the grill

Grilled red onion slices

Grilled flank steak

How the peppers ideally should look prior to peeling

Vinaigrette with the peeled and sliced peppers 

Sliced steak with the onion slices

The salad ingredients ready for combining

And here's the finished salad

As always, feel free to substitute as you see fit for the ingredients and directions. For instance, the beef needn't be grass-fed, the salt doesn't need to be kosher, nor does it require garden fresh arugula. Also feel free to use a blender or food processor to make the marinade paste. The recipe here includes what I used and the way I made the dish. 

Ingredients:
1 pound flank steak (ideally grass-fed)
1 large red onion - 1/4 cup diced, the remainder sliced into 1/4 inch slices
2 large bunches fresh arugula, leaves only, stems removed - about 4-6 cups
2 medium red bell peppers
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt
Fresh-cracked black pepper

Marinade:
1 tablespoon hot paprika
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
Leaves from a couple of fresh oregano branches (or 1 teaspoon dried)
2 cloves garlic peeled
1/4 cup diced red onion (from above)
1 tablepoon extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt

Directions:
To make the marinade, combine the dry spice ingredients (paprika, cumin seeds, salt) and ground coarsely. Add the oregano leaves, garlic cloves, and diced red onion to combine and pound into a paste adding the olive oil at the end to smooth. Lay out the flank steak and rub completely with the paste. Put the steak into a ziplock bag and put in the frig to marinade while you start the fire and prepare the remaining ingredients.
Start the fire on the grill. Once hot, roast the peppers, turning in order to completely blacken them evenly. Once blackened, put the peppers into a paper bag, close the bag and allow the peppers to steam in it. Grill the onion slices. I use a grill basket as I've never had much luck cooking the slices directly on the grill, usually sacrificing half to the fire god underneath. Turn the slices to cook evenly. Remove the onion and oil the grill well. Remove the steak from the marinade bag and place directly on the hot grill. Let cook for about 90-120 seconds on one side then turn over. Cook for about another minute or so, until the meat is medium rare to the touch. Remove and allow to rest under foil while preparing the other ingredients.
Peel the peppers completely, remove the stem and seeds inside, then slice into 1/4 inch strips. (If well blackened, the pepper skin should be easy to remove by just rubbing the peppers with your hands.) Add the balsamic vinegar and olive oil along with a healthy pinch of salt and a few turns of the pepper mill into a glass jar, cover tightly and shake well in order to emulsify the dressing.
Move the rested steak onto a cutting board and slice thinly across the grain. Put the arugula leaves in a large bowl and add the various components (pepper strips, onion slices, steak slices) a bit at a time and combine to make sure everything is well distributed. Add the dressing and mix to combine completely.
Serve from the bowl with tongs.