Never have I been more aware of how small my hometown is than when I’ve gone grocery shopping and I haven’t been able to find what I need. This is a rather new phenomenon for me, as I’ve only recently branched out and started using more obscure ingredients. To combat this problem, Mateja and I went to three separate grocery stores in Vancouver over the weekend, stocking up on things not as readily available at our local grocery stores.
I mention this today, as I was very frustrated by a lack of supply to one of my very necessary – and very reasonable – demands. I’d been hoping to purchase a very tasty skirt steak, as I had successfully done last week when I first made this salad. Alas,this time, it was nowhere to be found. I checked Safeway, then Fraser Valley Meats, and finally Coopers, only to be let down in each case. I could understand if they didn’t carry items like ghee, fresh cuttlefish, or candied scorpions…but skirt steak? It’s not even something I’d consider obscure! Cows in the valley aren’t magically missing their diaphrams (where this cut of meat comes from), so one would think this type of steak would be readily available…
Alas, I’m talking way too much about steak for a posting that’s supposed to be about salad, though. So, to make a long story slightly shorter, just know that I settled for some cuts of inside round when making this salad, but would have preferred a skirt steak instead. Regardless, at the end of the night, the salad still tasted great, and the tenderness of the inside round meant the steak didn’t add an overly chewy texture that could happen with other cuts of meat. Aside from using Emeril Lagasse’s Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette recipe as a guideline, this dish was all me. That being said, it’s nothing fancy or complex by any means (it’s a salad where I thought to add marinated steak, not rocket science). I think we can all agree though, that oftentimes the best dishes can also be some of the simplest.
Obviously with a salad, there isn’t the sort of exactness of measurements that’s needed with baking. The only items I actually measured were in the vinaigrette, and I simply eyeballed the amount of salad ingredients needed to fit a large bowl. I’m just saying this for when you examine the recipe and realize I really gave very little to go on. Honestly, it’s a matter of personal preference anyways, and about what’s available to you.
Balsamic Vinaigrette Marinated Steak Salad
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp. brown sugar
- 4 gloves garlic, diced
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground pepper
- 3/4 cup olive oil
For the Salad
- ready-to-use mixed greens (arugula is a must!)
- tomatoes, sliced lengthwise then cut in half
- avocado, sliced or cubed (don’t overdo it – 1 or 2 should suffice)
- inside round or skirt steak (1 per person)
- fresh crumbled feta
- Combine all the vinaigrette ingredients in a salad shaker, ensure the lid is closed, and shake well
- Place the steaks in a small bowl and coat in roughly 1/3 of the vinaigrette and let marinade covered in the fridge for at least 1/2 hour
- Place the mixed greens, tomatoes, avocado, and cheese (as much or as little of each as you prefer) into a large salad bowl, and toss.
- Once the meat has had a chance to marinate, toss on a hot skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. You can use a little olive oil if you prefer. For skirt steak, cook about 3-4 minutes per side, adjusting for personal preference. For inside round, about 1 1/2 – 2 minutes per side is all that is necessary
- Remove the steaks from the heat source, and let rest a few minutes before cutting
- Once rested, slice the meat (against the grain for skirt steak) and serve over a portion of the salad
- Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad, and enjoy!
Number of Servings Varies depending on proportions of salad ingredients used. Vinaigrette ingredients yield ~2/3 cup in total, after marinating.
It ended up being the perfect meal for an active night. Mateja and I went out afterwards to kick around a soccer ball and play some catch (we switched to a baseball for that), things I definitely don’t feel up to doing after some of the other meals I’ve made recently.
Anyways, until next time – happy cooking!