When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Grilled Flank Steak Salad and Crispy Potatoes

I think summer is the absolute easiest season in which to enjoy simply delicious meals. There is such an abundance of good, fresh food available to choose from, and most of it doesn't require much cooking. Our family has settled into our warm weather habit of visiting the local farmers' market a couple of times a week, and the baskets of beautiful vegetables and fruit we come home with each time become the centrepiece of every breakfast, lunch, and dinner we make.   Salads often feature prominently as we turn our farmers' market finds into a feast.

The salad recipe I'm sharing with you today is one of our new easy summer favourites.  It combines fresh greens with grilled sweet peppers, zucchini, and flank steak and is drizzled with a simple balsamic vinaigrette. The potatoes we often pair with it are parboiled, then pan fried in a little olive oil and tossed with fresh parsley and chives.  The whole thing comes together in about 30 minutes and makes a really lovely dinner to enjoy out on the deck or patio.

Grilled Flank Steak Salad (serves 4)

Several handfuls of mixed salad greens and/or arugula
2 - 3 sweet bell peppers, in various colours (red, yellow, orange)
2 zucchini (I like to use one green and one yellow)
1 1/4 pounds of flank steak
olive oil
sea salt and pepper, to taste

For the dressing:

3 tablespoons of olive oil
3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
1 tsp raw honey
sea salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the grill to medium-high.  Prepare the peppers by coring them and slicing them into 2 inch pieces, and slice the zucchini into rounds on a diagonal.  Toss the vegetables with a little olive oil and sea salt in a mixing bowl.

Prepare the salad dressing by combining the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, sea salt and pepper in a jar with a tight-fitting lid, and shaking vigorously to mix all ingredients.

Season both sides of the flank steak with sea salt and pepper to taste. Once the grill is hot, place an empty grill basket on the grate to preheat and at the same time, place the flank steak on the grate, close the lid, and grill the steak for about 6 minutes.  Turn the grill down to low, flip the flank steak, and add the prepared peppers and zucchini to the hot grill basket.  Grill with the lid closed for another 6 minutes, stirring the vegetables every couple of minutes.

Remove the flank steak from the grill to a plate, and continue to grill the vegetables for another 4 to 5 minutes while the steak rests.  Remove the vegetables from the grill, and slice the flank steak into thin strips diagonally across the grain.

To assemble the salad, place a handful of mixed greens on a plate and arrange some grilled peppers, zucchini and steak strips on top.  Drizzle the salad with the balsamic vinaigrette.

Crispy Potatoes

6 to 8 new potatoes, scrubbed (leave the skins on) and cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
2 tbsp olive oil
1 to 2 tbsp each chopped fresh parsley and chives
sea salt and pepper, to taste

Place the potatoes in a pot with enough water to cover them, and set them over high heat on the stove. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat slightly and cook the potatoes for about 10 minutes. (During the last few minutes that the potatoes are cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.)

Drain the potatoes well once they've cooked for 10 minutes, then toss them into the hot frying pan with the oil.  Season them with sea salt and pepper to taste.  Fry the potatoes for about 10 minutes, stirring often and scraping up the crispy brown bits on the bottom of the pan.  During the last 2 minutes of frying, add the fresh parsley and chives and stir.

Serve the potatoes alongside the steak salad for a satisfying meal.

It's best if you have two people working to prepare this dinner, so that one person can manage the grill while the other is cooking the potatoes.  If you'd like to avoid turning the stove on at all, you can also enjoy this salad with a nice crusty roll instead of the potatoes.  (Organic Works Bakery makes a delicious roll that is free of gluten, dairy, egg, soy, and nuts.)

Here's to fresh, fantastic summer food!


  1. This absolutely delicious, gonna give this a go one night, thanks for sharing.


    1. You're welcome, Simon -- I hope you enjoy it!