Whenever I gather friends for lunch, salad is the number one request. It feels virtuous and leaves room for dessert, allowing us to linger in conversation without a food coma. Certain boxes need to be checked though, before I’ll put it on the table. Will it delight their tastebuds in a new way? Is it visually delicious? Will it carry them to dinner without hunger pangs striking at 4pm? Check. Check. Check.
Here, perfectly seared steak meets creamy goat cheese, tangy, antioxidant-rich blackberries, and crunchy, toasted walnuts over a bed of hearty romaine. My husband and I, in an effort to plow through January and February in a healthy-ish fashion, have had a fair share of salads for dinner. Enjoyed with a Pinot Noir or Petit Syrah to complement the blackberries and balsamic, this steak salad becomes a satisfying mid-winter meal.
Seared Steak Salad with Blackberries and Goat Cheese
for the salad:
- 1/3 cup raw walnuts
- 1 12-ounce to 1-lb New York strip steak, 1 to 1/2-inches thick
- 2 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
- 4 ounces blackberries, sliced crosswise to 1/4 in thickness if large
- 8 cups torn or chopped romaine
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
- balsamic-shallot vinaigrette (recipe below)
Heat a small, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-low heat. Add walnuts to dry skillet and stir frequently until fragrant and toasted, about five minutes. Allow to cool then roughly chop.
Remove steak from fridge 30 minutes before cooking, then pat dry and season well with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Put an empty cast iron skillet in oven and preheat to 450 degrees. When oven reaches temperature, pull out skillet and place over medium-high heat. Drizzle steak with a bit of canola or safflower oil and rub it in to coat, then add to hot pan. Wait one minute, then flip after a nice golden crust has formed. Let sear on second side for a minute then place in oven. After two minutes, flip, then let it go two minutes more.
Depending on thickness of steak and desired level of doneness, you may need to leave in a minute or two longer. Pull it out when an instant read thermometer reads 125-128 degrees for medium-rare, 140 degrees for medium. Remove from pan, tent very loosely with foil, and allow to rest for five minutes (it will continue to cook while resting). When ready to plate salad, cut against the grain into 1/4-inch thick slices.
Place greens in a large bowl and drizzle with a few tablespoons of the dressing, tossing to ensure each leaf is lightly coated. Place in a serving bowl or divide among individual plates. Scatter goat cheese, berries, and walnuts on top. Add steak slices, sprinkle with chives, and lightly drizzle with more dressing.
for the balsamic-shallot vinaigrette:
You will have leftover dressing, and that’s a good thing. It will keep in the fridge, the shallots softening and mellowing, for two weeks or more.
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon finely minced shallot
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Throw all ingredients in a bowl minus the olive oil and give them a quick whisk. Continue whisking while slowly drizzling in olive oil until creamy and emulsified. Alternatively, place all ingredients in a tightly sealed glass jar and shake vigorously until creamy and emulsified. Set aside while preparing salad or cover and keep in fridge.
Save any extra berries and walnuts for your morning yogurt, stirring in with cinnamon and a drizzle maple syrup. If you’re looking for more blackberry recipes, click here for my Blackberry Quick Jam or here for my Blackberry Brown Sugar Crumble Bars.