Chimichurri Steak Salad with Blistered Tomatoes and Grilled Onions
One day I started craving a chimichurri steak salad. I can’t explain it other than saying I had to have it! This is a phenomenon my mom likes to call being “meat hungry.” It’s pretty obvious but it’s when you’re hungry for meat and usually comes on when you’re working out really hard and lifting a lot of weights. Chimichurri is an Argentinian sauce and is traditionally made with parsley, but I really like it with cilantro too. It is such a beautiful color and I just love everything about it! I hate when salads have like two measly ingredients so I knew this salad needed to have many elements, flavors, and textures.
First let’s make the marinade. I like to get this going and on the meat at least a few hours before cooking. In a blender or food processor put two garlic cloves, a handful of cilantro, a smaller handful of parsley, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, the juice of one lime, one fresh jalapeño seeded, a little dash of salt, and drizzle in some olive oil. You could use coconut oil in this but i don’t particularly like the flavor so I chose olive oil. Someone told me once (I think it was my sister but I can’t remember) that all vinegars are interchangeable. The more I thought about it the more it made sense. What’s really important is the acidity the vinegar gives to the marinade so if you don’t have red wine vinegar any other kind would be fine. That being said, red wine vinegar really does it for me in this recipe so use it if you can! Now pour this DELICIOUS marinade on your skirt steak. Skirt steak MIGHT be my favorite cut of meat and I’ll tell you why. It’s easy to find, it’s FLAVORFUL as all get out, and most importantly it fits perfectly into my pan I use for marinating AND my skillet. It’s also really easy to cook and because it’s so thin, cooks quickly. So pour this marinade over your skirt steak and save a few tablespoons of the marinade to make the salad dressing with later.
When you’re ready to eat turn your oven on 400 F and your skillet on medium high heat and place the meat in the pan. I don’t add oil to the pan because there’s so much in the marinade already. Medium high heat is important to get a really good sear on the meat. Before you put it in the pan, hover your hand slightly above the skillet and you should be able to feel the heat. If you can’t feel it, the pan isn’t ready. Let it heat up a few more minutes. Don’t touch the pan though! You’ll get burned. This is obvious but I’m trying to help out my first time cooks here. I see you newlyweds. Take your meat out of the fridge about 10 minutes or so before you get started. Let it come to room temperature before you cook it. This helps it brown and cook evenly. I used to think this step was silly but it totally works. During this time you can prepare your lettuce (I like to chop mine so I’m not fighting it while eating), wash your tomatoes, slice your avocado, and thinly slice the red onion.
Now let’s talk about your skillet. I put off buying a cast iron skillet forever! I finally bought one and can’t believe I lived so long without it! It cooks meat perfectly and the flavor it adds to the meat is insane! LISTEN TO ME! This precious guest pastor came to our church and said, “hear me good, friends.” So now it’s my turn to say, hear me good friends: get yourself a cast iron skillet! Get it pre-seasoneded because it’s easier. Now once your pan is ready get your meat on there! Depending on how you like your steak, flip it after about 4 minutes. Push down on the meat and based on how much it gives, you can determine how “done” it is before cutting into it. If your meat is more firm, it is more done. If it is still squishy, it is less done.
While your meat is cooking, put the cherry tomatoes in a cake pan with a very small spritz of olive oil spray. They fit perfectly in a cake pan and the edges keep them from rolling all over the place! Roast them until they are bursting and the skin is blistered, about 20 minutes. If you want the skin really blistered, broil them for about a minute right before removing them from the oven.
When your meat is done move it to a cutting board and let it sit while you make magic happen with the onions. Don’t do anything to the pan once you take the steak out! If your steak wasn’t very fatty you can add a small amount of oil to the pan but don’t get crazy. I’ve found spray olive oil helps me use less oil, so that’s a good trick. You always end up using more than you mean to when you pour. Turn the heat down to medium low and throw in the onions. Stir them around and get all those good steak juices on em. Good golly miss molly this is good stuff! What’s better than sautéed onions? Onions that taste like steak! This is a great way to get those browned bits off the bottom of the pan and the onions just soak up all that flavor. Will you ever be able to have a plain red onion again? The answer is no but I can’t be held responsible for teaching you tasty tricks.
Now it’s time to put this beautiful green masterpiece together! Place your chopped romaine and arugula in a big salad bowl. I like using romaine and arugula because arugula gives a nice peppery flavor as well as texture but you can use any greens you like! Kale would be good too! Slice your skirt steak to your liking. I like it in thin little strips because it’s easier to shove into my mouth that way. Toss those pretty tomatoes in there. Don’t forget about the avocado! One last thing... the onions. Now take those few tablespoons of chimichurri you saved and whisk in a few tablespoons of olive oil. Add a smidge of salt and pepper. Now stir it all together and enjoy it! I hope you love this as much as I do! Thank you for reading and send me pictures if you make this!
- 1 pound skirt steak
- 2 avocados
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1 red onion, sliced
- 1 head of romaine
- 1 cup arugula
- 1 cup cilantro
- 1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 jalapeno, seeded
- 1 teaspoon good flaky sea salt
- reserved marinade
- salt and pepper to taste