Want to know how to get your husband/boyfriend/father/brother to eat healthily? Two words: Steak salad. Steak gets a bad rep in the diet world, but if you use lean steaks and plate it over a big bowl of greens, it's rather healthy and a much tastier alternative to your average chicken/salmon/tuna routine. I particularly love steak salads for weeknights because steaks are actually one of the quickest proteins to cook: in under 8 minutes you have a perfectly seared, medium rare piece of beef. This entire meal uses one pan, one cutting board and a small food processor and takes about 20 minutes, start to finish, making it the perfect weeknight meal.
Serves 4 as a main
For the salad:
4 cups arugula
5 Persian cucumbers
1.5 cups cherry tomatoes
12 mini sweet peppers, or 2 full-size bell peppers
For the steak:
3 eight ounce lean steaks (Hanger steak, Denver steak, Filet Mignon)
2 tablespoons high smoke point oil, such as Canola or Coconut oils
For the Chimichurri dressing:
1 cup flat leaf parsley
1 cup cilantro (if you hate cilantro, double up the parsley)
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 shallots (or 1/2 red onion)
4 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1. Bring the steaks to room temperature by removing them from the refrigerator one hour prior to cooking.
2. Remove the steaks from their packaging and pat them very dry. Season lightly with kosher salt.
3. Heat the oil in a cast iron or stainless steel pan large enough to hold the steaks. Do not use nonstick. When the oil begins to smoke drop in the steaks, one at a time, holding down on the steak for 10 seconds to ensure the steak and the pan are making contact. Release and repeat with the second steak. Allow the steak to cook for 3-4 minutes on each side before flipping for a perfect Medium Rare. Do not flip more than once.
4. Transfer the cooked steaks to a cutting board. Tent with foil and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing.
5. While the steaks rest, make the salad: Plate the arugula on a large serving tray or in a bowl. Thinly slice the cucumbers (I use a mandoline for this,) quarter the tomatoes and slice the mini peppers into rings. Add them to the bowl or plate of arugula. Lastly, thinly slice the avocado and add it to the salad. If you're making the salad in advance, add the avocado just before serving as it can tend to brown when exposed to air.
6. Make the Chimichurri dressing by adding all the ingredients to a food processor and processing until a sauce forms. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
7. Slice the steak into 1" thick slices and plate over the salad. Dress the salad with the Chimichurri dressing, reserving a small amount of the dressing for dipping.