With the official arrival of spring, the weather around our neck of the woods is slowly beginning to thaw out and warm up. For me, one of the highlights to rising temperatures is the resurgence of the grill. Ours had been in hibernation for the winter, but this past weekend that all changed after ardently convincing my husband it was high time we revived our outdoor cooking habits. A promise of red meat didn’t hurt the cause either. With a hearty agreement in hand, he and I hauled it up onto our deck and I officially lit the 2012 inaugural flame. When dinner was served shortly there after, what lay in front of us was a simple yet flavorful grilled flank steak salad that was enjoyed by the three year old and the 30 something year old’s alike.
We’ll get to the “meat” of the recipe in a minute (pun most definitely intended) but before we do, I thought it might be fun to offer up a few choice tips to increase your mastery of the almighty flame kissed dish this grilling season:
- To easily clean your grill, turn it on high and leave closed for 10-15 minutes until the temperature approaches 500 degrees. Open it up, grab your grill brush and watch the grit and grime fall away with ease.
- To keep food from sticking to the grates, use an old (clean) rolled-up towel soaked in cooking oil and rub the grates of your grill (I use the grill brush to push it back and forth on the grates) before placing the food on top.
- When cooking meat, the less flips the better. Try to limit yourself to no more than five.
- When you do flip your meat, place it on a different section of the grill to ensure you’re garnering the hottest surface for cooking.
- Once the meat is cooked to your liking, set it on a cutting board and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes so the juices have a chance to retreat back into the protein.
- Whatever you do, don’t stab your meat with a fork. Use tongs to flip on the grill. You want all that juice to stay in the meat, not dissipate away on the grill.
Alright, let’s do this. Begin with the marinade. This version uses a handful of Asian flavors including but not limited to: teriyaki, sesame oil, cilantro, ginger, garlic and lime juice. Add the meat to the prepared dish and let sit in the fridge covered for 3-5 hours.
When you’re ready to grill, you’ll want to crank the temperature gauge all the way to the right to get it good and hot, keeping the top closed until you’re set to place the meat. For a skinny cut of steak such as this, I prefer to leave the top up once grilling commences as it allows me to better manage the cooking time.
While your grill is getting hot, head back into the house and grab a blender/food processor for the dressing. Drop in a handful of ingredients including cilantro, powdered ginger, crushed red pepper, olive oil, lime juice and plain yogurt. Swirl it up, season with salt and pepper and set to the side.
Time for the meat. Assuming your grill is good and hot, open it up and, using tongs, place it on the grill. Now turn and walk away. Don’t flip, don’t turn, don’t lift and peak (at least for a minute or two). Just let it cook. Depending on the thickness, you’ll leave it to sit for about 4-6 minutes. If you want, you can turn the meat 90 degrees about half way into cooking to get a snazzy cross hatch patterned sear. Flip the meat over to an unused area of the grill and repeat for the top side. Seriously, check out that gorgeous cross hatch.
When the meat is cooked through, place it on a cutting board and set it to the side to rest. For the greens, I put together a simple spinach salad with fresh corn, tomatoes and cheddar cheese.
Finally, slice the rested meat across the grain and layer the thin strips over the top of your salad. Drizzle with the cilantro dressing and serve with a healthy glass of red wine.
Let the grilling season begin!
Marinated Flank Steak Salad with Creamy Cilantro Dressing
Yield: Approx. 4 dinner sized salad servings
Total Time: 3 Hours 30 Minutes
For the Marinade:
1.5 Pounds Flank Steak
3 Tbsp Teriyaki
3 Tbsp Canola Oil
1/2 Lime, Juiced
1 Clementine, Juiced (or 1 Tbsp of fresh orange juice)
1 1/2 Tbsp Fresh Cilantro, Chopped
1 Inch Piece Fresh Ginger, Minced
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1/2 tsp Onion Powder
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
Salt and Pepper to Taste
For the Dressing:
1/4 Cup Cilantro, Stems Removed
1/4 Cup Plain Yogurt
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
1/2 Lime, Juiced
1 tsp Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp Ginger Powder
1/2 tsp Onion Powder
1/4 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
Salt and Pepper to Taste
For the Salad:
1 6 Oz. Bag Fresh Spinach
2 Cobs Worth Fresh Hulled Corn
2 Roma Tomatoes, Chopped
1/2 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Mix all the marinade ingredients together with the exception of the salt and pepper.
Place the meat in the marinade, being sure to submerge all sides, and set covered in the fridge for 3-5 hours.
When ready to cook, salt and pepper both sides of the meat and place on a heated grill for 4-6 minutes per side depending on thickness.
Remove the meat from the grill and allow to rest for about 5-10 minutes.
Once the meat is rested, slice thinly across the grain.
For the dressing place all of the ingredients in a blender and mix well.
Place a healthy handful of spinach on the plate followed by the corn, tomatoes and cheese.
Lay 4 to 5 slices of steak over the top and drizzle the salad with the cilantro dressing.
anne Alesauskas says
oh this sounds so awesome! I can’t wait to start our grill season this weekend! thanks julie, hope you had a great easter! anne
Laura @ WyldeThyme says
this looks wonderful! I can’t wait to start cooking on the grill (or the campfire) more… please warm weather hurry!
This is just beautiful! Thanks for the tips for starting our grill; it is snowing snowing right now. Very anxious to get to your recipe.
Javelin Warrior says
This looks beautifully grilled and I’m so jealous of your grill 😉 I live in an apartment currently and things such as grills are strictly not allowed. But I’ve been lusting after grilled meat from my friend’s grill for years, so someday. Someday.
Sanjeeta kk says
Red bell pepper..brown sugar and olive oil in cilantro dressing is something I would love to try. Cilantro dressing or sort of chutney is very popular in Indian cuisine…your version sounds exciting!
OH! This looks so good I’m salivating into my coffee (sorry for the gross image =). I hope to own a grill at some point in my life, and thanks for the grilling tips! Those are all things that will come in handy once I initiate myself into the marvellous world of outdoor cooking.
First of all thanks for the tips, it is always useful to learn from others’ experiences. Second, the salad and flank steak both would be perfect for me. A light yet nutritious meal that creates no guilt by eating it!
I must admit…I love meat…and this beef flank with the cilantro sauce looks absolutely delicious. Beautifully presented Julie.
Thanks for the recipes and the tips and hope you are having a wonderful week 🙂
I love grilling season…even though I don’t eat meat! I think fish tastes so great when done on a BBQ…and I love the lack of clean up even more.
Nice Recipe as well as nice presentation. Would be trying it out someday. 🙂
I really need to try your cilantro dressing! it sounds amazing
Made this tonight and it turned out great, wetry to do one salad for dinner each week and this is one of our favorites now,