I’m so ready for Spring! It was here, all warm and full of sunshine, and then it went away. Luckily for me, I managed to squeeze in the year’s first BBQ sometime in between rays of sunshine and rainclouds. I made something that clearly doesn’t merit a recipe, because it involved only cutting my bell pepper and zucchini in half, drizzling the veggies and my ribeye with olive oil, adding a generous helping of sea salt and a little bit of piment d’Espelette, and throwing it all on the grill. Easy, peasy, delicious. I was mmm-ing all through the meal, honestly one of the best I’ve had in a while. It hit the spot, and made me crave Spring (and even Summer) that much more. And guess what else makes you wish that winter was finally over? A fabulous, light, crunchy, salty-sweet salad made with leftover grilled ribeye steak!
So, the thing about Jé is that he doesn’t like red meat. He doesn’t like red meat. Of course, he eats ground beef in hamburgers or spagetti bolognese or sloppy joes, and literally devours beef when it’s slow-cooked in a fancy (but not really) beef bourguignon, but give him a steak? The meal will not end well. He won’t eat it. He’ll pick at it and eat two bites and then tell me I can finish it for him. In the beginning, I absolutely wanted to cure his steak aversion, because I had the same problem when I was younger, with the discovery of a really good, marinated, fire-grilled steak snapping me out of it. But he won’t snap out of it. I’ve given up. So when I buy steak, it’s steak for one. But who wants one steak? I of course always buy two, and with the fleeting Spring weather, found myself cooking both steaks at the same time, knowing that the second would end up in a salad as delicious, Spring-laced leftovers.
I LOVE this salad! It just kind of came together with what I had at home, but it has a slightly sweet Asian vibe, and lots of crunch, and of course melt-in-your-mouth full-of-flavor pieces of grilled ribeye, some charred garlic and shallots and a tangy orange-mustard vinaigrette. I love that by leaving the vegetables in the sauce for a few hours, they soften but keep their crunch. The little bits of orange are a perfect contrast to the garlic and salty steak. It’s probably really good for you, but it feels indulgent (ribeye, hello!). It has sustenance while still keeping things light, which if you ask me, is the perfect balance for this in between Winter/Spring season.
Grilled ribeye and leftovers: fennel, bell pepper and orange salad with garlic ribeye and sesame seeds
Ingredients (serves 2):
Salt and pepper to taste
1 clove of garlic
1 shallot, cut in half lengthwise and sliced thinly
1 small bulb of fennel, finely sliced
1 red bell pepper, finely sliced
1 blood orange or whatever you can find, cut into segments (see here!)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon strong mustard
1 tablespoon orange juice
A sprinkling of sesame seeds
Cook the ribeye however you want: on the grill (obviously!) is my favorite method, but you can also cook it in a pan with oil and butter. Make sure you season it heavily with salt and pepper! The key is letting the meat rest once it’s done. Slice the garlic thinly and cook with the shallots over high heat in some butter (at the same time as the steak if you’re pan-frying!). Place on top of the steak and let it rest while you prepare everything else.
In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, mustard and orange juice to combine. Add the sliced bell Pepper and fennel, the orange segments and a large pinch of salt, and let them marinate for at least 30 minutes, and up to 4 hours. The addition of salt will bring out the veggie’s natural juices and will add to your vinaigrette! You can slice the steak now however you’d like: I prefered nice thin strips. Once you’re ready to eat, place some salad on a plate, add a generous dose of dressed vegetables, and top with the steak. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and enjoy right away!