It's cherry season! AKA the happiest, red-fruitiest and stone-fruitiest weeks of the year! AKA the reason I still have a giant jar of cherry jam in my refrigerator!
But I'm not complaining about that today.
No, today, I'm talking about a way to use up some beautiful cherries in an easy, summery way that makes you feel like the most healthy, virtuous, fresh fruit eating person.
And then we're going to add steak!
Faced last week with an office-wide wellness initiative to add more fruits and veggies back onto our plates, I signed up immediately, after mentally running through my diet for the last few months (I ate at Disney World for an entire week, and I can't seem to stop making ice cream, so you can imagine the horror). The first week's challenge was red fruits and veggies, and luckily, I had a giant container of cherries sitting in my refrigerator left over from popsicle research. I almost forgot myself and churned them into a frozen yogurt, but remembering my healthy mission, I decided to throw them into a salad and call myself a winner. But then I had the irresistible urge to add steak to that salad, because cherries and meat together are just wonderful, and well, here we are.
Sometimes you have to let yourself have a little of the bad with the good, and I don't regret any of this steak. It's grilled to juicy perfection and shouldn't be skipped. I added in some cucumber for crunch and some pickled shallots for zing, and then threw the lot onto a bed of sharp, peppery greens coated in a creamy, mustardy dressing that ensures a bite of tangy goat cheese in every bite. Highly recommend.
Skirt Steak and Cherry Salad with Dijon Goat Cheese Dressing
Makes enough for 4 entree-sized salads
- 1 lb skirt steak
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup + 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 tbs + 1 tsp dijon mustard, divided
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- salt and pepper
- 2 oz goat cheese
- juice of 1 small lemons
- 2 shallots
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- pinch sugar
- 2 cups cherries, pitted
- 2 small cucumbers, peeled and diced into large chunks
- 8 oz peppery greens, such as arugula or baby mustard
- In a small bowl, combine the balsamic vinegar, 1 tbs olive oil, 1 tsp dijon mustard, garlic, a few good pinches of salt, a few good grinds of pepper and whisk to combine. Place skirt steak in a sealable plastic bag or container and pour in the marinade. Make sure meat is evenly coated and refrigerate, at least 6 hours or up to 24 hours.
- When ready to cook steak, remove steak from the refrigerator and let sit while you preheat a grill pan (or grill) and make the dressing and pickle the shallots.
- Make the dressing: in a small bowl, crumble or mash the goat cheese with a fork, then add remaining 1 tbs dijon, lemon juice, and some salt and pepper and stir to combine. When mixture has formed a thick paste, add in the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil and whisk until a creamy dressing has formed. If it still seems a little thick, add in more olive oil. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan over medium high head, combine the rice vinegar and sugar and bring to a simmer.. Thinly slice the shallots and transfer to a small, heat proof bowl. Pour the vinegar mixture over the shallots and let sit while you grill the steak.
- When grill is very hot, remove steak from marinade, blot dry of any excess marinade, and grill to desired doneness (I like my steak closer to well than medium, so I did about 6-7 minutes per side, but for most people this is likely too done).
- Remove steak from grill and let rest for 10 minutes while you assemble the salad. In a large bowl, toss together the greens, cherries, cucumbers, and pickled shallots (drained) with the dressing until well-coated. Divide among plates, for serving.
- When steak is finished resting, slice against the grain and divide steak among the salads. Finish each with some fresh cracked pepper and a small sprinkle of flaky sea salt, if desired.