Marinated flank steak is my go-to cut for steak salad. Fattier cuts don’t need marinating in my opinion because the fat is flaavor country. But with flank steak, a little extra boost is kind of necessary. This is our staple marinade for flank steak and it goes with almost anything. My favorite way to have it is in a salad, full of chopped veggies, creamy avocado, and tarragon vinaigrette. This salad is the best of a hot summer day when you want a cool, crunchy, but super satisfying dinner.
I started making this marinated flank steak when Derek and I lived in our first apartment together. It was one of those larger apartment complexes with communal grilling spaces. Grilling wasn’t as simple as, fire it up, grill, eat. It was a social experiment every time. First, people would leave the grill to heat up and if you took it while they were gone – ohh watch out! Second, there were always awkward grill temperature interactions, and the worst – people telling you when you ought to take your food off the grill “hmm that looks like its getting pretty done!” (usually men, go figure). And of course, sooo much small talk. I learned quickly to bring a book and look unpleasant – that way no one tried to interact with me. Come to think of it, that’s my tactic in most public situations.
Now, we grill in peace. That is, when we remember to fill the propane tank. On this occasion, the tank turned up empty shortly into pre-heating. Turns out this was a blessing as we now have a better way of cooking the steak that more evenly cooks it and saves the tasty jalapeños for toppings, if you’re into spice.
Note on Heat: This steak is NOT spicy at all! I suppose if you literally hate spicy food, you might think it’s spicy. But you can simply discard the jalapenos when you’re ready to cook, and you will never taste a lick of heat. If you like the taste of jalapeños like I do, and are willing to risk a little spice, you can cook them in the skillet using the method below, or you can put then in a foil packet directly on the grill to cook off the raw meat marinade. I love cooking them in the pan, they get a bit of char and are a perfect salad topper.
Marinated Flank Steak Salad with Tarragon Vinaigrette
Flank Steak Marinade
- 1 lb Flank Steak
- 1/2 cup soy sauce or coconut aminos
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1 tbsp mined garlic, - 3-4 cloves
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 jalapenos, - sliced
- 1/2 tsp chili flakes
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 cup grape seed oil, - or other neutral oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp fresh tarragon leaves, - packed
- 1-2 garlic cloves, - pressed/shaved on microplane
- 1/2 tsp whole grain mustard
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1-2 ears sweet corn, - raw
- 1 avocado
- 1/3 cup kalamata olives
- 1/2 cup grape or cherry tomatoes
- 4-6 cups mixed greeens, baby kale, or chopped romaine lettuce
- Combine all marinade ingredients in an appropriately sized dish or a plastic bag (I like the steak to lay flat in the dish but not have too much room for the liquid to spread out - a pie dish works well). Add your flank steak and let sit for minimum 30 minutes-1 hour. I've done it up to overnight and it tasted great.
- Combine all dressing ingredients except the oil in a jar or a narrow bowl and pulse until roughly combined with the immersion blender. With the blender going, slowly pour in the oil until combined - this should emulsify the dressing giving it a thicker texture and better coating on your salad. Make a day ahead and store in the fridge for 1-2 days after.
- Remove corn husks and wash the ears. Carefully, hold the cob vertically by the tippy top and slice corn off the cob, rotating the cob after each cut - just like your mom did for you as a kid. The corn doesn't need to be cooked and its sweet, juicy, and easy.
- Chop remaining toppings and set aside.Toppings: Chose whatever toppings you like! I think this combo is an unbeatable summer combo but if olives or avocado aren't your thing, adjust to your taste.
- Clean and chop your lettuce leaves, if needed. I like to buy the bags of baby kale from Trader Joes because its a sturdy green without the tough stems.
- When you're ready to cook your steak, preheat the oven to 415 degrees.
- Heat a cast iron skillet, or other oven proof pan, over med-high heat.
- Once super hot, sear your steak on each side for about 1:30sec. I sprinkle the jalapenos around the outside so the meat gets direct contact with the pan.
- Transfer the whole skillet to the preheated oven and cook for 5-7 minutes. (7 minutes will be medium-well done).
- Remove from oven - Remember pan will be super hot!! Let rest for at least 5 minutes.
- Slice and dice, top and dress your salad and enjoy!