Weekday Shorts: Empty the Garden Steak Salad

The beginning of August has most gardens in my area at their most productive. It's the perfect time to put together the year's most amazing salads and, if you happen to have some lovely sirloin steak on hand, salad can easily be the end all and be all of your dinner plan.

This simple steak salad pairs a steak seared in cast iron (though you could grill it if that's more your style) with a huge variety of garden bounty. Everything from a variety of greens to fresh corn and ripe tomatoes get paired with different kinds of onions cucumbers and even some chickpeas to help build a hearty foundation. It's a salad that comes together in minutes and will fuel you for hours.

You could, of course, opt for chicken, shrimp, pork, or even tofu instead of steak, but I really love a medium-rare steak paired with all of my garden favorites. This tends to be my favorite kind of salad and, while the particular offerings within it might change based on what's ready in your garden, the gist is to make sure you are using the very freshest your garden (or market) has to offer.

I tend to have a couple of pieces of soft bread or breadsticks on hand to soak up the juices remaining from this salad and otherwise pour a very chilled bottle of hard cider into a glass and that's dinner. It's fast, simple, and just about the most summery meal I make all year.

Empty the Garden Steak Salad

  • 10 oz. sirloin steak
  • Steak seasoning of your choice - I used a spicy blend featuring crushed red pepper and garlic
  • 1 T. cooking fat of your choice - I used bacon fat
  • ½ c. chickpeas
  • 8 oz. grape tomatoes, halved
  • ½ yellow bell pepper, cored and chopped
  • Kernels from 1 cob of corn
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • ½ cucumber, halved and thinly sliced
  • ⅓ c. sliced almonds
  • 8 oz. arugula
  • 8 oz. mixed salad greens
  • 1 tsp. everything but the bagel seasoning
  • ⅓ c. vinaigrette of your choice - I used a very garlicky variety

Prep the steak by rubbing it generously with the steak seasoning of your choice. Heat the cooking fat of your choice over medium-high heat in a cast iron skillet or thick bottomed skillet. When the skillet is hot, add the steak and let it sear for 5 minutes. Turn the steak and sear another 3-5 minutes, depending on your desired level of doneness. Remove to a plate and cover it to let it rest while you prepare the rest of the salad.

Combine the next 10 ingredients (chickpeas through mixed salad greens) in a large serving bowl. Slice the rested steak against the grain into bite-sized pieces and add that plus the everything but the bagel seasoning and vinaigrette of your choice. Toss to combine and serve immediately.

  • Yields: 3-4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes

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