Steak salad is something I used to only order at a restaurant. I'm not sure why. It was in the same category as chicken parmesan for me. Why make it at home when it can be this special treat out at a restaurant? Well, now that dining out is becoming more expense, we have to start thinking of ways we can make special treats right in our own kitchens. Steak salad with bobby flay's pickled red onions and bleu cheese is one of those treats.
Petite New York Sirloin is Perfect for this Steak Salad
As we all know, buying beef can be a roller coaster in terms of price. Now, more than ever, we have to look for the good deals in the weekly supermarket flyers. And when a deal presents itself - we've got to strike while the iron is hot. When petite New York sirloin went on sale for $4.99/lb., I knew I wanted to make an awesome steak salad to share with you. You should give petite N.Y. sirloin a chance. This is a delicious cut of meat and when properly seasoned and cooked can go up against a ribeye any day of the week. Yes, I just said that. Oh boy, I'm going to be in trouble for that one. I also recently made a batch of Bobby Flay's Pickled Red Onions and wanted to get as much use out of them as I could! They are awesome as a salad topping.
How to Properly Season Your Steak
Let's talk about the importance of seasoning the steak. When you are cooking steak or hamburgers you have got to salt and pepper the outside. This is a must. A light dusting of salt and pepper on both sides goes a long way. With steak, I even hold the steak on its side and salt all around the edges too. Also, petite New York sirloin is a fairly lean cut so we're not getting too much flavor from fat. I mean, there is some fat, but not too much. I realize people like to use stuff like Montreal Steak Seasoning and other flavorings on their steak. However, to me, too many different types of seasoning can ruin a good steak. Salt and pepper is really all you need to get a fantastic flavor. Let the steak be steak. Enjoy it for all its meatiness. The best way to make a steak shine is to keep it simple. Salt and pepper. That's it.
How to Sear Sirloin Steak in a Pan: Pan vs. Grill
Are there two camps of people out there for this? I'm not sure, but if there is, here's how they're likely divided: people who love to cook steak in a pan and people who love to cook steak outside on the grill. Pan vs Grill. Here's where I stand on the matter. I prefer searing it in a pan. Steaks and burgers: I'm a pan girl. The charred flavor has been done to death. And yes, I do still crave it from time to time and I love it. But I love pan seared more. Of course, I will be sharing grilling recipes with you as well because I enjoy cooking outside. However, gun-to-the-head and I had to choose: I'm a pan girl.
In the video for this recipe, I cook one steak in a regular Teflon pan and one in a cast iron skillet. I did this to show you that no matter what pan you use, you can get a great crust on that steak. For best results, turn your heat on medium to medium/high heat and closer to high if you can without smoking out your whole kitchen like I always do.
Also, and I do this in my crunchy, cheesy patty melts video too: add some neutral oil to the pan before you start cooking and let it get hot.
All the Steps to Cook Sirloin Steaks in a Pan:
- Lightly salt and pepper both sides of the steak and salt around the edges of the steak too.
- I let the steak sit a few minutes with the salt and pepper while I do other prep work.
- If you're using a skillet turn the flame on medium to let it heat up a few minutes. In the last minute, add a splash of oil to the pan and spread around. Let it get hot.
- For Teflon just heat the pan for one or two minutes with a neutral oil (I used canola).
- Once the oil is hot, add the steaks to the pans and cook on medium/high heat for 4 minutes. Press down on steaks with a fork or spatula briefly, but do not turn it for 4 minutes.
- Turn and cook 3 more minutes for medium which has a pink center. If you want it rare to medium rare just cook for 1 ½ to 2 minutes on the other side. These were fairly thin steaks so it doesn't take long.
- I let the steaks rest for 10 minutes before cutting.
Bobby Flays Pickled Red Onions & Bleu Cheese Paired with Steak Salad: A Match Made in Culinary Heaven
I can't think of a better addition to this salad than Bobby Flay's Pickled Red Onions. That tang and crunch is perfect for this salad! And don't get me started on bleu cheese. I don't eat it too often because for whatever reason I've always viewed it as a "treat" kind of cheese. But I think bleu cheese was born to be paired with meat. It's such a great addition to cheeseburgers, for example, and delicious, juicy steak like this.
When I eat salad, I do prefer a warm or hot component to it. I usually have to trick myself into eating cold food. Room temperature food is okay, but all cold food is not my favorite. So when I make a salad, it's always better if there is a warm component. In this case, a perfectly seared sliced steak is the ticket! I LOVE this salad and it's a great option for lunch, dinner or even brunch. It's got steak, but still feels light and you will be full in a good way. For the dressing, I use an old stand-by: My Favorite Balsamic Vinaigrette. This is my go-to dressing for salads because I always have the ingredients on hand.
A Healthy Salad for Dinner is such a Low-Maintenance Treat
As we head into the summer months here in New England, salads are on the brain. We eat a lot of salads around my house especially when we want an easy meal. This steak salad with pickled red onions and bleu cheese is so completely satisfying and I hope you give it a try. You can make a salad a meal if you add the right ingredients. If you're only cooking for two, you've built in your lunch for the next day too. Yay! You don't need to spend money on take-out or make a whole new meal.
I hope you can take the time to make delicious food right in your own kitchen. It's never been easier to learn to cook. There are so many recipes, resources and inspirations at our fingertips. All the recipes on my site have written instructions as well as step-by-step videos. I'll be with you through the whole process!
Still Got Salads on Your Brain? No Problem!
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- Warm Goat Cheese Salad w/Toasted Pine Nuts & Dried Cherries
- Roasted Beet Salad w/Blood Orange Vinaigrette
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Steak Salad with Pickled Red Onions & Bleu Cheese
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 7 minutes
- Total Time: 27 minutes
- Yield: 4 salads 1x
When spring and summer hit, I am all about steak salad with pickled red onions and bleu cheese. A fantastic, healthier meal option for brunch, lunch or dinner.
- 4 Campari tomatoes, quartered
- 2 Petite New York sirloin steaks (.85 to 1 pound each and about ¾” to 1” thickness)
- Salt and pepper to season the steak (a light dusting on both sides)
- 1 large head of Romaine lettuce, chopped
- ¾ cup of Bobby Flay's Pickled Red Onions, more if you want
- 1 teaspoon or so of Canola oil for pan (Vegetable oil ok too)
- 1 5-ounce container of crumbled bleu cheese
- 2 avocados, chopped
For the Balsamic Vinaigrette (makes ¾ cup):
- ½ clove of garlic, finely diced
- ½ cup of olive oil
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste (just a pinch here)
- Small sprig of rosemary (optional)
- Start by making a quick and easy balsamic vinaigrette. In a small bowl or mason jar add the following ingredients: finely diced garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, and a pinch of salt and pepper. If you’re using the optional sprig of rosemary add that too. Put the lid on jar and shake it. If using a bowl, whisk until well combined. Set aside for later.
- Quarter the Campari tomatoes. I used Campari because they were on sale. You can use any kind of tomato (see note#1).
- Put your steaks on a cutting board or sheet pan and season with salt and pepper. A light dusting of each on both sides of the steak. Also, sprinkle a little salt around the edges too. Set aside a few minutes. My video shows this well.
- Chop one large head of Romaine lettuce into bite-sized pieces of lettuce and put in a large mixing bowl.
- The pickled red onions. As stated above – make these the day before and take them out of the refrigerator so they are ready to go when you assemble your salads.
- Use one pan for each steak (see note#2 for specifics). Put a splash of neutral oil in each pan and heat on medium. Place steaks in the pans and let cook for 4 minutes on medium/high. I did press on the steaks with a fork (once, not continuously) just to ensure all the steak was touching the pan on the bottom.
- After 4 minutes, turn the steaks and cook about 3 more minutes for medium rare-to-medium (mine were more towards medium because I like it that way). Cook slightly less when you turn the steaks if you want it more rare.
- Once cooked to your liking, transfer steaks to a plate or sheet pan that has a lip. As the steaks rest they will produce juice and you can use that to pour back onto the steak strips once you slice them.
- While the steaks are resting you can finish the prep. Steaks should rest at least 5 minutes and ideally 10 minutes.
- Cut your avocados into chunks. It’s best to do this right before serving. I also lightly salt my avocado – just a light sprinkling of salt here.
- Shake the balsamic vinaigrette and pour some into the large bowl of chopped Romaine lettuce. I like to use just enough to lightly coat the lettuce. Mix well with your kitchen tongs. You’ll have extra dressing for use another time. Yay!
- Plan your timing and when the steaks have rested, slice them into strips. I portioned mine out on a sheet pan. Fours steaks means about half a steak per person. You can pour some of the juices on the steak after you’ve sliced it if you want.
- ASSEMBLE THE SALADS: Divide lettuce into four bowls or plates, add four tomato chunks per bowl, the pickled red onions, steak slices, bleu cheese and avocado.
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- Campari tomatoes are small so I was able to quarter them and put four pieces in each salad. If you are using a larger tomato you may not need four tomatoes – maybe just two. You are smart and will figure it out.
- I used one cast iron skillet and one Teflon pan for this so you could see that either way you can get a great crust on your steak. The cast iron skillet will take a little longer to heat up though. Here’s the breakdown. CAST IRON SKILLET: Let the pan heat on medium heat for a few minutes – in the last minute add a splash of canola or vegetable oil and spread around pan. Add steak and turn heat to medium/high. TEFLON PAN: Heat the pan on medium heat with oil in it for a couple of minutes, then turn to medium-high heat and add the steak.
- You can make Bobby Flay’s Pickled Red Onions the day before or the week before if you like. They will last about three weeks total in the fridge.
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