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Grilled Flank Steak Salad with Balsamic–Red Wine Dressing

Grilled Flank Steak Salad with Balsamic–Red Wine Dressing

Katie and Richard Chudy
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.

Chefs Katie and Richard Chudy

Katie and Richard Chudy are a couple (literally) of professionally trained chefs. Katie Chudy created The Small Boston Kitchen and contributes to Eater Boston. Her first cookbook, Superfood Sandwiches (Fair Winds Press), is due out in June 2015. Richard Chudy is the founder of Boston Burger Blog, and his first cookbook, American Burger Revival (Union Park Press), came out in May. They are both professionally trained chefs and together they own The Skinny Beet, a personal chef and catering company.

Photographer Evi Abeler

Evi Abeler is a food and still life photographer based in New York City. She helps art directors, cookbook authors and designers to communicate the love, passion and thought that goes into every project and creates modern, yet classic images. Her clients in advertising, publishing, hospitality and retail include Food & Wine Magazine (which named her Digital Food Award Winner), Harper Collins Publishing and Whole Foods Markets.

Stylist Laura Knoop

Laura Knoop is a New York City-based food stylist with a studio in Harlem.