Friday, September 12, 2014

Grilled Nectarine Salad with Steak and Blue Cheese

I love me a good main dish salad and try to put one on the menu at least once a week. Sometimes they are green salads and other times they consist of noodles, protein and vegetables. On Salad Night when my husband and I first got married, he would look at me with eyes that said And what ELSE, pray tell, will we be having for dinner?

Over time, he adjusted to the idea of greenery equaling dinner and now he even occasionally asks for a salad when I'm surveying the crew for menu suggestions. No one can blame him. I mean, it's hard to turn down a salad when the greens act as a cushion for flavorful strips of grilled red meat. And when combined with the sweet and juicy grilled nectarines and chunks of pungent blue cheese, it's a marriage made in heaven. 

My brainchild for this dish was inspired by the Pioneer Woman's Grilled Nectarine Salad. The first time I made it, I served it as an accompaniment to another dish and it was quite tasty. But it felt odd to me to turn on the grill for just a side dish. Nectarines have been available in abundance at my local produce stand and have become a staple purchase for me over the past couple months. So the next time I over purchased them (which I do practically every week), it dawned on me that the steaks in my freezer would be a perfect addition to transform this salad into a more substantial meal. I was right and so my latest favorite main dish salad was born.

Grilled Nectarine Salad with Steak and Blue Cheese
(adapted into a main dish from the Pioneer Woman)

6 nectarines, halved and pitted
Olive Oil, For Drizzling
4 (6 ounce) sirloin steaks
Garlic powder, to taste
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon Honey
1 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
10 ounces spring mix salad greens
4 ounces blue cheese
1/2 cup slivered almonds

Drizzle nectarine halves with a little olive oil. Grill cut side down for 2-3, turning halfway to create criss-cross grill marks. Set aside.

Dry steaks and season generously with salt, freshly ground pepper and garlic powder. Grill, about 3 to 5 minutes per side until desired degree of doneness is achieved. Remove steaks to a plate to rest and slice.

In a bowl, whisk together Dijon, vinegar and honey. Whisk in 1 cup olive oil to emulsify. Add salt and pepper to taste and mix.

Toast slivered almonds in a small skillet over medium-low heat until just turning golden brown.

In a large bowl, toss lettuce with enough of the dressing to lightly coat (you won't use all of the dressing). Toss in warm toasted almonds.

Divide mixed greens among 6 plates. Slice cooled steaks across the grain and distribute evenly over the greens. Place two nectarine halves on each serving. Drizzle nectarine with a little more dressing. With a fork, cut blue cheese into chunks and distribute among the six plates and serve.

Serves 6

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posted by kelsie