Grilled Flank Steak Salad with Balsamic–Red Wine Dressing
We’re not sure there’s anything better in the summer than a perfectly cooked steak right off the grill. This fresh salad—featuring grilled grapes and strawberries, which take on a robust, meaty flavor from the open flame, and balsamic vinegar–rubbed sharp cheese—is accented with an addictive balsamic–red wine dressing.
- ⅔ cup balsamic vinegar
- ⅓ cup red wine
- 6 juniper berries crushed
- 1 teaspoon coriander seed crushed
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns crushed
- Kosher salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons espresso powder
- 1 tablespoon ground mustard
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon Espelette pepper*
- 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
- Kosher salt to taste
- 2 ½ pounds flank steak
- 1 cup grated balsamic cheese we like Sartori Balsamic BellaVitano, divided
- 1 zucchini or summer squash rinsed and quartered lengthwise
- ½ bunch seedless black grapes
- ½ cup fresh strawberries rinsed and hulled
- Olive oil to taste
- 1 cup fresh watercress cleaned and dried
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine all ingredients and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer until liquid starts to thicken, lowering heat if it bubbles too vigorously. Cook until dressing is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 8 to 10 minutes. It will continue to thicken as it cools. Dressing may be made two days ahead; store in an airtight container and strain before serving.
- Heat gas or charcoal grill to high at least 30 minutes.
- Combine the espresso powder, ground mustard, cumin, Espelette pepper, brown sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Dry steak well with paper towels. Rub spices over steak.
- Grill steak, flipping once. If the steak starts to char too much, move it to a cooler part of the grill. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness (120°F rare; 125°F medium-rare; 130°F medium). Top steak with ½ cup grated cheese during the last minute of cooking; close grill cover to melt it.
- Remove steak from grill when a few degrees below desired doneness temperature. Tent with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Steak will continue to cook as it rests.
- Meanwhile, prepare squash and fruit. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt. Grill squash until well browned, 8 to 12 minutes. Grill grapes until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Grill strawberries 3 to 4 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, chop squash into ½-inch pieces.
- Slice steak against the grain into thin pieces. Combine steak, fruit, vegetables, and watercress on a large platter. Drizzle with dressing, sprinkle with remaining ½ cup cheese, and serve immediately.
*Can’t find Espelette pepper? Substitute equal parts cayenne pepper and smoked paprika.