Steak Salad and Warm Bacon Vinaigrette Recipe
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.
Ingredients for the Steak Salad
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
How to make the Steak Salad
- 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
Ingredients for the 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
How to Make the Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
- 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.