Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Jessi's Steakhouse Salad

My sister Jessi is one of the best salad makers I know, second only to my aunt Nancy - who as a vegetarian, has 3 decades more experience then she does.  When I told Jessi about Salad Week, I obviously had to have her make one for me.

Places like Chop't or Mix'd or Sweetgreen give me a bit of agida at the expectation of making my own salad.  I always panic and either select just lettuce, tomatoes and dressing or put together a cacophony of flavors in an attempt to be exotic and end up with an inedible bowl of veggies and cheeses and toppings.  I seriously cannot fathom putting together the ingredients she does, but somehow she always makes it work. And this delectable steak salad is no difference:

Start by grilling up a nice lean flank steak marinated in soy sauce, red wine vinegar and some minced garlic.

While I sat back and enjoyed a nice glass of Pinot Grigio, Jessi got to work chopping the veggies. First the red peppers,

Followed by a few baby bella mushrooms.  (I'm adverse to fungi but for Jessi I allowed it.  And then I promptly picked them out and put them in her bowl when she wasn't looking)

Red Onion - Thiiiiiiinly sliced

Next chop up some candied walnuts

Finally, halve a few grape tomatoes,

Add to all that, some crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese

While the steak rests, it is time to mix up the dressing.  Jessi combines some dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar and minced garlic.

She mixes all that with the cutest teeniest whisk I've ever seen.  She loves anything in miniature so I shouldn't have been so surprised that she had a mini whisk to go with her mini dressing prep bowl.

She streamed in some lovely extra virgin olive oil to bring the vinaigrette together.

Finally it was time to assemble the salad.  In a large salad bowl filled with mixed field greens (Jessi suggests filling your individual bowls with lettuce first to get the portions just right) add the veggies and sprinkle a generous portion of salt and fresh cracked black pepper.  This will really flavor the individual vegetables before adding the dressing.

Finally add in the cheese and dressing and toss together.

Cut the meat very thinly on a bias.  If you - like Jessi - recently received an electric knife for your wedding, this would be the perfect time to use it.

After serving up the two portions, she fanned out a few slices of steak onto each and sprinkled the top with those amazing French's Fried Onion bits.  Oh yeah, you know what I'm talking about.  Those wonderful, crispy little bites of heaven that usually hibernate until Thanksgiving when it comes time to make the green bean casserol.

Steak-ey, Cheese-ey, Crisp-ey, a hint of sweetness from the candied walnuts and saltiness from the fried onions.  I give it an enthusiastic two thumbs up.

Huh... it appears that my wine glass must have a hole in it.  Oh well, its time to dig in. 

Shopping List for Jessi's Steakhouse Salad (Makes 2 Entree Size Servings)
  • 6 Cups of Mixed Field Greens
  • 1/2 a Red Bell Pepper
  • 3 Baby Bell Mushrooms
  • 1/4 Red Onion
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Candied Walnuts
  • 8 - 10 Grape Tomatoes
  • 1/4 Cup Crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • 6 oz Flank Steak
  • 1/8 cup French's Fried Onions
Dijon Vinaigrette Dressing
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1/8 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 Teaspoons Minced Garlic
  • 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

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