Flank Steak Salad with Spring Vegetables

Flank Steak Salad 1Flank Steak Salad with Grilled, Pickled and Raw Spring Veg, Rustic Croutons and Mustard Vinaigrette

Recipe and Photo by Dani Columbatto

For the steak and marinade:

1 lb, flank steak
5 cloves garlic, grated, divided
¼ c. red wine vinegar
2 T. hoisin sauce
Zest of 1 lemon, plus, 2 T. juice
½ T. soy sauce
½ T. Worcestershire sauce
½ t. honey
½ t. red pepper flakes (add more, if preferred)
2 T. rosemary, chopped, divided
1 T. thyme, chopped, divided
¾ c. neutral oil, such as canola, plus a couple T.  extra
Kosher salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste


For the salad:

1 head Boston Bibb lettuce (can substitute butter lettuce, or your other lettuce of choice)
½ head cauliflower (We used purple cauliflower for both great flavor and a burst of color.)
1 watermelon radish, thinly sliced on a mandolin
4-6 small radishes, halved or quartered, depending on size
4 small carrots, halved
1 beet, peeled and cut into ½ -in. cubes
2 spring onions, halved lengthwise, then cut into large chunks
½ red onion, thinly sliced
Red wine vinegar, enough to cover red onion
¾ c, feta, crumbled

For the vinaigrette: 

¼ c. good balsamic vinegar
1 small shallot, minced
1 T. whole-grain mustard
Zest of 1 lemon, plus 1 T. juice
1 t. honey
Kosher salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
½ c. extra-virgin olive oil


For the croutons

1½ c. crusty bread, cut into 1-in. cubes
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste
Black pepper

This salad invites the best of what early spring has to offer from your garden while also presenting that  classic, fork-and-knife steakhouse vibe. . Flank steak gets marinated in an herbaceous vinaigrette with a kick of spice, then is grilled until perfectly tender,—right where medium-rare flirts with rare (Hot tip: H-E-B is featuring some very quality Wagyu beef at appealing price points). Because we are already grilling, why not coat some cauliflower, spring onions, carrots and beets in reserved marinade, nestle them in foil packets and throw them on the grill, too? 

As a foil to our rich steak, and slightly sweet, grilled spring veg, pickled red onions and peppery radishes provide a  welcome punch and crunch, respectively, atop buttery lettuces. Crumbled feta lends creaminess, and a salty, briny note, while hand-torn croutons from leftover crusty bread are the perfect finish to soak up both the steak juices and the whole-grain mustard vinaigrette. 

Customize this salad however you please, swapping out with the seasonal veggies to your liking. As a general formula, just think: Grilled steak + grilled veg + pickled and crunchy veg + crunchy carb, nut or seed + something creamy + vinaigrette = an ideal, springtime fork-and-knife steak salad. 

Make the marinade:

In a large liquid measuring cup, combine 4 grated cloves of garlic, red wine vinegar, hoisin sauce, lemon zest and juice, soy sauce, Worcestershire, honey, red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon rosemary, ½ tablespoon of thyme and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. While whisking continuously, stream in canola oil. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly with salt and pepper. 

In a small bowl, combine the remaining rosemary and thyme with 1–2 tablespoons canola oil and the one remaining grated garlic clove. Generously season the flank steak with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Coat the steak in the garlic-herb mixture. Transfer to a zip-top bag, and pour in ¾ths of the marinade. Marinate for at least 30 minutes, up to 24 hours. 

Prepare the vegetables:

Wash and chop all vegetables. Make 2 foil packets. In 1, combine  beets and carrots. In the other, combine cauliflower and spring onions. Season with salt and pepper and divide the remaining marinade evenly between the 2 packets, making sure all vegetables are coated. 

Grill steak and veg:

Prep a charcoal grill. Pile charcoal on 1 side of the grill, carefully pour lighter fluid atop the charcoal, and light the coals. Wait until they are glowing and red hot. If you have a charcoal chimney, place charcoal in the chimney, pour the lighter fluid atop the charcoal, and light the coals. Wait for all coals to be glowing and red hot. Carefully dispense the coals from the chimney onto 1 side of the grill. Close the lid so the entire grill gets hot.

The vegetables will take considerably longer than the steak—about 30–40 minutes, whereas the steak will only take about 9–12 minutes, depending on your preferred doneness. While the vegetables are cooking on the grill, make the croutons and vinaigrette, so you will have everything ready to assemble by the time you grill the steak.

Grill the vegetable packets over direct heat for about 15 minutes with the lid closed. After 15 minutes, transfer to indirect heat for another 15–25 minutes. To check doneness, pierce vegetables with a steak knife to see when they are tender. 

Grill the steak over direct heat for 6 minutes per side, before transferring to a platter and covering with foil to rest for 15 minutes. Look for a final internal temp of 135° for medium rare. Slice thinly, against the grain, into ¼-inch thick slices to serve.  

Make the croutons:
Preheat the oven to 400°. Place the cubed bread on a small sheet tray. Drizzle with olive oil, and season generously with salt and pepper. Bake for about 15 minutes, tossing halfway through, or, until golden-brown and crunchy. Place atop a bed of paper towels to drain any excess oil, and cool. 

Make the vinaigrette:  

In a liquid measuring cup, combine the balsamic vinegar, shallot, whole-grain mustard, lemon zest and juice, honey and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. While whisking continuously, stream in the olive oil until you have achieved a homogenous mixture. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve. The vinaigrette will separate while refrigerating, so re-whisk to combine everything prior to serving. 

To serve:

Distribute the lettuce leaves across a large platter. Lay the flank steak down the middle in a single row. On 1 side of the steak, combine the grilled cauliflower, carrots, beets and onions. On the other side, pile the  radishes, pickled onions and croutons. Top with crumbled feta and whole-grain mustard vinaigrette.