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Grilled Steak and Potato Salad

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Steakhouse flavor, in a salad
Grilled Steak and Potato Salad
E. Jason Wambsgans / Chicago Tribune

Whether it's the peak of summer or the middle of winter, it's always a good time for steak and potatoes. In this recipe, you get all the comforts of the classic meal, but lightened up a bit—grilled steak and russet potatoes are served over crisp greens with tomato, onion, and crumbled blue cheese.

This recipe is by JeanMarie Brownson and was originally published in the Chicago Tribune.

Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 3 small russet potatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon coarse salt, or to taste
  • Coarsely ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 Pound boneless beef top sirloin steaks (or New York strips), each about 1-inch thick
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled, thickly sliced
  • 1 large head romaine lettuce, tough outer leaves removed
  • Spicy ranch dressing (recipe follows)
  • 3 small tomatoes, halved, seeds shaken out, flesh cut into small dice
  • 1 ripe avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, diced
  • 1/3 Cup crumbled blue cheese (or feta or goat cheese)
  • Thinly sliced fresh basil (optional)

For the spicy ranch dressing:

  • 2 Tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh chives, finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon red pepper hot sauce
  • 1/4 Teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

For the salad:

Step 1: Prepare a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to hot.

Step 2: Pierce 3 small russet potatoes in several spots with a fork. Microwave on high (100 percent power) until nearly tender, about 5 minutes. Cool, then cut into 1/3-inch thick rounds. Brush both sides with olive oil; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt and ground black pepper to taste.

Step 3: Generously season 1 pound boneless beef top sirloin steaks (or New York strips) with salt and pepper to taste. Then drizzle lightly with olive oil. Lightly brush 1 medium sliced red onion with olive oil; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Step 4: Arrange the potato slices over the hotter part of the grill; put the onion slices around the cooler edges. Cook, turning once, until all are golden and tender, about 5 minutes for the potatoes and 15 minutes for the onions. Transfer potatoes to a plate. Separate onions into rings; slice rings in half.

Step 5: Grill the steaks over the hotter portion of the grill, turning only once, until medium-rare (or as preferred), about 8 minutes total. Transfer to a cutting board; let rest a few minutes.

Step 6: To assemble the salads, cut four 1-inch thick center slices from 1 large head of romaine lettuce. Alternatively, cut the head of romaine lengthwise in quarters. Transfer one romaine slice to each serving plate. Divide the potatoes and onions over the romaine. Very thinly slice the steak; lay the slices on top of the salad. Drizzle steak and greens lightly with spicy ranch dressing (recipe follows). Sprinkle 3 small diced tomatoes, 1 diced avocado and 1/3 cup blue cheese evenly over all four salads. Garnish with thinly sliced basil (optional). Serve salad while the steak is warm.

For the spicy ranch dressing:

Step 1: Into a blender, put 2 tablespoons sour cream, 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives, 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro, 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon red pepper hot sauce, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.

Step 2: Process to mix. Dressing will keep several days in the refrigerator.