There's nothing better for a meat eater than slicing into charred juicy protein, unencumbered by anything else, except maybe another heavy carb like mashed or fried potatoes. A grilled slab of medium rare steak with a cool crisp salad seems like a waste of bovine.
Well I'm here to change your mind with a delicious entree that's so different than your everyday meat and potatoes -- A hearty Warm Steak Salad.
Plopping down a sliced steak done your way on a salad shouldn't work, but curiously enough it all goes together. And it's easy to do and cheaply too if you have some cheapskate connections.
I fortunate to have chain groceries and 99c only Stores in my neighborhood that sells frozen small three ounce fillets of Rib-eye steak for a dollar. Now that's just over five dollars a pound, not really cheap, but then I'm not gorging on a five dollar steak in one sitting. And when done eating you will not sink into a protein coma. So per serving this is an excellent deal. (If you don't have access to cheapie small cuts of beef, sirloin or tri-tip is tender and inexpensive enough to use.)
I have a simple salad recipe that fits snugly under the steak and a Warm Salad Dressing to bring it all together.
For the salad I combine greens, tomato, sliced onion and a little crumbled cheese. Of course you can make the salad any way you like it with the addition of fresh and seasonal farmers market veggies and greens. I also added a small jar of marinated artichoke hearts that always show up at my local 99c only Store.
The Warm Salad Dressing is just oil and vinegar (actually the artichoke marinade) that's heated up in the same pan you fried the steak in. Just scrape up those tasty steak bits and mix it all together and pour it over the salad and steak.
You can toss this meal together in no time and the flavor combinations will have you adding my Warm Steak Salad to your treasured home recipe list.
Ingredients (1-2 servings)
- Beef steak fillet - I used a small 3 ounce thin-sliced Rib Eye steak for 99.99 cents.
- Greens - about 3 cups. More or less to your liking. Any type of lettuce and/or spinach.
- 1 whole medium tomato - a couple of smaller Roma tomatoes, or a handful of Cherry tomatoes.
- A thin slice of onion - yellow, red or white.
- 1 jar of marinated artichoke hearts - drain and set marinade aside.
- A favorite crumbled cheese - optional. I used a 1/4 cup of Mexican Queso Fresco. Blue cheese, or shredded mozzarella, cheddar, and fresh shaved parmesan are other options.
- Salt and pepper for the steak - to taste.
Other salad additions include: olives, avocado, sliced or shredded carrot, drained canned beets or beans, and pickled veggies like artichokes, heart of palm and roasted peppers. Also lightly steamed veggies:broccoli, cauliflower, corn and squash.
Warm Salad Dressing Ingredients
- 2 tablespoons each of olive oil and vinegar - I used 1/4 cup of the marinade from a jar of artichoke hearts (which contains oil and vinegar.) Okay to add more for a larger salad.
- 1 teaspoon of honey - or a small amount of your favorite sweetener.
Shred lettuce or spinach leaves. (Spinach leaves may be small enough to leave some of them whole.) Slice tomato and onions. Add to your serving plate or bowl, mixing lightly.
Season then grill or pan fry the steak. Set aside. I've found with a thin steak all you need to do is cook one side until nice and browned, then flip it over and finish cooking for a few seconds more to desired doneness. Serve with the charred side showing.
Quickly add a 1/4 cup of marinade (or plain oil and vinegar,) with artichoke hearts, to the steak pan over a medium/high heat.
Loosen charred steak bits from pan and heat the liquid and artichoke hearts for a minute. When it starts to boil it's done. Turn off heat and add sweetener, mix well.
Slice steak and pour half of the warm marinade over salad. Place steak on salad and sprinkle on cheese (optional) and the rest of the marinade.
I used the oil and vinegar marinade from a cheap small jar of artichoke hearts. If you can't find these then just use plain olive oil and vinegar. Sprinkle in a pinch of dried Italian herbs to plain oil and vinegar for extra flavor (when heating up the Warm Salad Dressing.)
You can make this salad seasonal, so add any veggies or greens you like from the farmers market or your local grocery store. You can also lightly steam the more crunchy vegetables for a couple of minutes, or thin-slice and serve them raw.
If you find canned or jarred veggies on sale just drain and add about 1/2 cup total. You can top with a handful of canned black olives, too.
I used a thin-slice of Rib eye on sale for 99.99 cents. You can use any tender cuts including: sirloin, New York and tri-tip. There is no need to cook a large expensive fillet, your appetite will be filled with the salad. If you have to buy a large steak then slice into single servings, wrap and freeze it to make more Steak Salads later. Or feed your meat eater companion the left over steak and enjoy your lighter Steak Salad.
Adapt my Warm Steak Salad to suit you taste, mix and match any of the above ingredients.
Of course, leave out the steak and you have a delish Warm Vegetarian Salad.