Finally dusted off the grill, and snapped back to attention here at Kitchenelly. My band, Border Radio, got very busy over the last month or so and I’ve been AWOL! We took a trip up to Northern California for some shows, recorded 5 new songs, taped a bunch of video, went down to San Diego, and wrote a few more tunes.
But I’m back at the helm here, with a serious craving to get the grill going for some BEEF. That combined with a craving for tender salad after a wet winter filled with the super dark greens like chard and kale.
I love salad greens combined with something warm (I’ve lately been favoring putting my salad on top of my pizza). In this salad the juices from the warm beef combine with the vinaigrette to make a flavorful dressing that slightly wilts the tenderer greens. I recommend a combination of crisper lettuces, like romaine and radicchio, with tender leaves such as mache, arugula, frisee, and leaf lettuces. And instead of croutons I’ve made a garlicky crostata — the whole effect is like a fantastic steak sandwich completely deconstructed.
Warm Grilled Steak & Gorgonzola Salad | 4 servings
1 1/2 pound rib eye or other quality beefsteak (or 2)
1 large or 2 small red onions
1 fennel bulb
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 head romaine lettuce
1/4 head red leaf lettuce
1/4 head radicchio
Mache or arugula
Ciabatta or other loaf bread
1 clove of garlic
For the vinaigrette:
1 teaspoon honey mustard
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Small pinch of salt
Small pinch of sugar
1/3 to 1/2 cup olive oil
Pinch of dried or fresh tarragon
Freshly ground black pepper
Pitted Niçoise olives
Several ounces gorgonzola or bleu cheese (crumbling type)
Light a charcoal grill. Remove the steak from the refrigerator to allow it to come to room temperature while the grill is heating up. Slice the onion into thick slices. Cut the top off the fennel bulb, halve, cut out the solid core, and slice. Rub the steak and vegetables lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and set aside.
While the grill fires up, prepare the salad ingredients. Break the romaine and leaf lettuce into pieces. Thinly slice the radicchio. Wash all the greens and dry well, preferably in a salad spinner.
Place the washed greens in a large bowl and cover with a squeezed-out dampened paper towel. Store in the refrigerator until needed.
Slice the bread into 1/2-inch slices and toast. Brush with olive oil on one side, and lightly rub the cut end of a peeled clove of garlic on the oiled side of the toast. Cut the toasts in half lengthwise and set aside until needed.
Prepare the vinaigrette. In a small bowl or measuring cup put the mustard, vinegar, salt, and sugar and combine. Using a small whisk, pour the olive oil into the vinegar mixture, whisking all the while. Add tarragon and pepper and set aside until needed.
When the coals are covered with ash but still glow red, grill the fennel and onion, covered, about 4 minutes per side or until browned.
Remove the grilled vegetables and cook the steak over hot coals (open the vents completely), covered, approximately 5 minutes per side. The cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the steak.
While the meat is resting, slice the grilled vegetables into large pieces. Toss the salad greens with vinaigrette, taking care not to overdress the salad. Divide the dressed greens onto serving plates, and sprinkle with the grilled vegetables, olives and crumbled gorgonzola.
When the beef has rested for 5 minutes or more, thinly slice it, preserving the juices.
Arrange the beef slices over each serving, and spoon some of the juices over each plate as well. Sprinkle with black pepper, arrange the garlic toasts on each plate, and serve.
Welcome grill, welcome summer.
Kelly McCune © 2011