Steak Salad and Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
Sweet-tart cranberries and bitter Brussels sprouts and chicories tossed in a warm bacon vinaigrette and piled with a mild, creamy blue cheese, crunchy, toasted walnuts, and tender strip steak — we love this winter salad for its delicate balance of flavors and textures.
Warm vinaigrette is always a nice touch on a winter salad: It gives the greens a little bit of a wilt, and it makes salad seem more cozy and appealing on a cool day.
Our tip: To make sure your fresh cranberries are firm and crunchy, soak them in chilled water and discard any that sink to the bottom of the bowl.
1 4-oz New York strip steak
Salt and black pepper
8 large Brussels sprouts, cleaned and shaved
¼ head radicchio, julienned
2 cups escarole, rough chopped
½ cup cranberries, rinsed and sliced in half
½ oz mild blue cheese, crumbled
1 tsp granulated sugar
½ cup toasted walnuts
- Preheat the oven to 350º, and then toast the walnuts for 3 to 5 minutes, until fragrant. Let them cool on a cold plate or paper towel.
- Toss the fresh cranberries with sugar, cover them in plastic wrap, and set them aside for 30 minutes.
- Season the steak with salt and pepper on both sides.
- In a small cast-iron skillet, heat the grapeseed oil over high. When the oil begins to smoke, add the steak and sear it on each side for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove it from the heat and let it rest.
- Place the radicchio, escarole, and Brussels sprouts in bowl, and toss them together with the walnuts, cranberries and blue cheese.
- Slice the steak and place it on top of the greens. Tip: Slice your steak against the grain, so every bite is tender.
- Spoon Warm Bacon Vinaigrette over the salad, and garnish it with fresh tarragon and any crispy bacon bits left over from making the dressing.
Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
2 strips thick-cut smoked bacon, diced medium
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp quality honey
1 ½ tsp Dijon mustard
½ shallot, minced
½ cup apple cider vinegar
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp tarragon, chopped
- In a small sauté pan, brown the bacon over medium, cooking it slowly just until it’s crispy. Without discarding the bacon fat — it will become the base for your dressing — remove the bacon from the pan, and let it cool on a paper towel.
- Allow the bacon fat to cool slightly in the pan, and then add the garlic and shallot, and give them a stir.
- Add the Dijon, vinegar, and honey, and bring them to a simmer. Continue to simmer, whisking, until the liquid reduces slightly.
- Remove the dressing from the heat, stir in tarragon, and pour the dressing into a heat-proof jar or ramekin.