This one hits your taste buds from every angle like a prizefighter! The dressing is citrusy, smoky, oniony; the pecans are sweet, spicy and salty. The salad marries the crunch of onion, the earthiness of baby spinach, the tart, bright juiciness of blackberries and the pungent, savory notes of blue cheese. And the thinly-sliced skirt steak adds a touch of rich protein to make this salad satisfying.
Technique tips: Char veggies on stovetop to create amazing new flavors. Try it with red pepper, tomatoes, eggplant or onion. Also, the longer you let the dressing stand, the bolder the flavor becomes.
Swap option: Red grapes, halved, or dried figs can replace blackberries. Olive oil can replace avocado oil, walnut halves can replace pecans.
- 1 orange, juiced
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 3 scallions
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Sweet and Spicy Pecans
- 1 tablespoon salted butter, melted
- 1 dash hot sauce
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 3 to 4 teaspoons water
- 2 cups pecans
- 1 pound skirt steak
- Beef stock (optional)
- Butter (optional)
- Olive oil (optional)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- One 12-ounce container blackberries, washed and drained
- 2 pounds baby spinach, washed and patted dry
- 8 ounces crumbled blue cheese
- 2 medium red onions, cut into thin strips
For the dressing:
Char scallions on the stovetop range, until some black char appears. Let cool. Discard white part of scallion and dice the green part finely. Place in bowl and add lemon and orange juices, avocado oil and salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly, cover and place in fridge.
For the sweet and spicy pecans:
Combine sugar, salt, red pepper flakes, water and melted butter in mixing bowl. Whisk to combine thoroughly. Add pecans and make sure to coat completely. Line sheet pan with silpat, wax or parchment paper. Spread pecans out thoroughly and bake 10-12 minutes until golden brown and caramelized. Remove from oven and let cool.
For the steak:
If preparing this dish with raw steak preheat a large pan or skillet over medium-high heat until drops of water skitter across the surface. Season steak with salt and pepper. When skillet is hot, add the olive oil, and sear the steak on both sides, 2-3 minutes per side. If still not done to desired temperature, place in oven for a few minutes. Remove from heat, lightly cover with foil, and let meat rest for 4-5 minutes.
If you are preparing this dish with cooked steak, you can either slice and serve steak cold atop the salad OR reheat the steak using one of two methods:
Microwave- Put steak in microwave safe casserole dish or baking pan. For every 8 ounces of steak, pour 4 tablespoons beef stock over the beef. Cover with plastic wrap. Punch holes in plastic film with a fork. On medium power, microwave in 30 second bursts until desired temperature is reached. Melt together 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil on stovetop in skillet. Take steak from microwave, shake off excess liquid, and sear in skillet, roughly 2 minutes per side.
Oven and stovetop- Preheat oven to 250°F. Put steak on a wire rack on top of a sheet pan. When oven is heated, put steak in middle rack. On bottom of rack, below steak, in any oven safe vessel, put 1-2 cups of beef stock and a few pinches of black pepper. Let steak cook for 25 minutes (if using a thermometer, look for an internal temperature of 110°F for medium-rare). Remove from heat, rest for 10 min and serve.
For the salad:
1. Combine spinach and red onion in large bowl. Pour dressing from fridge over spinach and onion. Toss to coat evenly.
2. Add Blackberries and toss to combine. Add blue cheese and combine with rest of salad. Add cooled pecans, and toss. Divide between 4 bowls.
3. Slice skirt steak as thin as possible, across grain and top each salad with 4 oz of sliced steak. Serve.