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Grilled Flank Steak Salad with Creamy Cilantro Dressing

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:

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.