As I flipped through the May issue of Cooking Light I came across recipes for grilled balsamic skirt steak with accompanying sides of tomato, onion and blue cheese salad and garlic sauteed spinach. In! Love at first sight. I felt pretty confident this meal would be a winner and it really was! It’s a great summer time meal and has that complexity and flavor to it that would make any guest think you spent hours in the kitchen, though you secretly know just how easy it was.
For our version of this recipe, we used flank steak instead of skirt steak, since that was what we had in the freezer. For those keeping tabs, it was a beautiful grass-fed flank steak from Trader Joes, Yum.
The marinade for the steak was a little on the sweet side. The ingredients include balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire, brown sugar and garlic. The flavors of the marinade were probably my least favorite part of this meal, ironically though it was what drew me to the recipe in the first place. Next time I think I will go with a standard teriyaki or soy marinade. I like the salt, what can I say. Still though, steak is steak, and so it was still awesomely delicious. The great flavor was intensified by Greg’s masterful slicing- diagonal, across the grain, and very thin- which created extremely tender, melt in your mouth bites of steak. (A true testament to this was that the steak was even good and tender the next day, cold, on a salad!)
In addition to the mouth watering steak, were the fabulous sides that accompanied it. Simple, yet delicious.
The spinach, which I dubbed ‘garlicky spinach’ (so creative, I know), could not be easier to make but tasted so good. We have spinach pretty frequently and often saute it. But for some reason, this spinach was above and beyond what we typically have. It included thinly sliced garlic that first cooked in butter. mmm.
The other side was incredible and so easy to make! Some halved grape tomatoes….
…some minced vidalia onion…
…all stirred together. I make similar side with feta but the blue cheese was an ingenious addition. I really loved this! Next time I make it, I may add some lemon juice for a little more acidity. I used red wine vinegar, though the recipe called for white wine vinegar, which may be why it was quite as acidic as it should be. The vidalia onion was also a pleasant surprise, as I typically would use red onion in this type of side. It’s a much more mellow onion than the onions I typically use and worked nicely not to overpower the tomato and blue cheese.
Here are some more glamor shots of the meal 🙂
Needless to say I really liked this dinner. All the flavors, textures and temperatures of everything worked so well together. The sweetness of the steak was countered nicely by the sharpness of the blue cheese, the flavorful onions, and garlicky spinach. The soft texture of the steak balanced by the crunch of the salad and warmth of the spinach. I could really go on and on… try it and you’ll see!