Spring Break

March 17, 2008

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It’s Spring Break, folks. To ring in what’s almost assuredly my final Spring Break, Kevin and I spent the weekend in New York. And while the Big Apple is not exactly Cancun and there were no body tequila shots or wet t-shirt contests, we had an excellent time. However, I utterly failed in the photography department. So, I have no photos of our elegant lunch in August’s glassed-in back garden; our charred and nearly-molten pizza at Luzzo’s; our (dare I say, kind of disappointing) H&H bagels; our many-coursed and completely delicious Italian feast at Crispo; and our tours through countless bodegas, the Union Square farmer’s market, and specialty food shops (Amy’s, Murray’s, Zabars, Citarella).

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Instead of dazzling you with photos of our getaway, then, I’ll have to settle with sharing photos of one of my favorite salads. While it might not have the “break” part covered, it’s certainly satisfies the “spring” in Spring Break. What with it’s segments of asparagus and verdant colors.

(Click “more” for the rest of the story, more photos and the recipe.)

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The salad’s components are delicious individually: lightly steamed asparagus, caramelized onions, tender leaves of baby spinach, creamy blue cheese rubbed into crumbles, and flank steak grilled after a rosemary-infused marinade. As any great salad does, though, this one transcends its parts—the flavors and textures of the components play off and highlight each other. It’s not likely to show up on MTV’s Spring Break any time soon, but for my version of Spring Break, it’ll do just fine.

Flank Steak & Asparagus Salad

Yield: 2 entree-sized portions

For the steak:
1/2 pound flank steak, trimmed and scored with a shallow “X” on both sides
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon fresh, minced rosemary leaves
salt & pepper

For the vinaigrette:
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
salt & pepper

For the salad:
1 bundle asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch segments
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, sliced in thin half-moons
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
4 cups baby spinach
2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese

Combine the steak, the next four ingredients, salt and pepper in a gallon-sized Ziploc. Marinate for 1-2 hours in the refrigerator.

Preheat the grill or a grill pan. Grill the steak (discarding the marinade) for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, for medium-rare steaks. Remove the steaks to a plate, cover with aluminum foil and set aside.

Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion slices and saute for a couple minutes. Add the vinegar, stirring to combine. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until caramelized.

Meanwhile, bring a medium sized pot of water to a boil. Add the asparagus segments and boil for 3 to 4 minutes, until crisp tender. Drain the asparagus segments and rinse with very cold water. Pat dry with a clean kitchen towel and set aside.

In the bottom of a large bowl, whisk the ingredients for the vinaigrette together. Pile the spinach, caramelized onions, asparagus segments and blue cheese on top of the dressing. Toss the salad and divide between two plates.

Slice the flank steak on the diagonal, across the grain. Top the two plates of salad with the sliced steak and serve.

5 Responses to “Spring Break”

  1. RecipeGirl Says:

    I love flank steak, but I’ve never thought about putting it in a salad. Great idea!

  2. amanda Says:

    NYC is my favorite city by far. I hope you had a great time. Were you able to hit up any fun bars or bakeries? Those were the highlights of my trips there.

  3. suzannemarya Says:

    Kristin, this flank steak salad looks absolutely delectable and reminds me of my favorite flank steak salad ever — at the Millinneum Park Grill, right in your own backyard. Happy Spring Break!


  4. […] that came from New York’s Amy’s Bread, one of our many food-related stops during our tour of Manhattan last weekend. And while we didn’t sample the grilled cheese, it was clear that the place was turning out […]

  5. Robin Says:

    You know, I find H&H pretty disappointing too. Glad I finally got that off my chest!🙂


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