Edit ModuleShow Tags

FreshTartSteph Recipe: Fall Steak Salad with Sweet Potatoes, Avocado & Maple Vinaigrette


By Stephanie Meyer

As a kid, I thought salad was the food women ate to punish themselves into dropping a few pounds. I used to eat French fries with a knife and fork to pretend I was eating salad, just to feel like a grown-up.

I clearly had a lot to learn, including the fact that a well-made salad is one of life’s great pleasures.

The best salads are built on a foundation of contrasts: warm and cool, creamy and crunchy, sweet and tangy, laced with a nice amount of saltiness and fat, piled atop the bounty of whatever season.

Not every salad is meant to be an entree, of course, but this one is. Steak (warm) and greens (cool), avocado (creamy) and pecans (crunchy), sweet potatoes (sweet) and apple-cider vinaigrette (tangy). You get the picture. It has it all, and comes together quickly, and is beefy enough for those who roll their eyes at salad to pipe down and dig in.

(For the record, even though I didn’t include it here, I really enjoy iceberg lettuce, which is oft-aligned, but has a pleasant crunchiness and distinct flavor. I particularly dig a good steakhouse wedge salad, piled high with crispy bacon, sweet cherry tomatoes, and a Roquefort dressing that could put hair on one’s chest, as my grandfather used to say.)

Steak salad just begs for a gorgeous glass of wine, so I asked sommelier Leslee Miller of Amusee Wine for a suggestion. Her pick: the Crios Cabernet from Mendoza, Argentina. Leslee says, "The roast-y and very unctuous notes of Stephanie's recipe this week deserve a round, voluptuous red to pair for just the perfect combination of flavors. Intense, with enticing aromas of ripe black plum, blackberry, and currant, this wine will pair perfectly to the blue cheese notes of the salad, yet not overwhelm the clean, fresh flavors of the garden vegetables on the plate. The textured dark fruit flavors of the wine join nicely to the wine's subtle accents of dark chocolate, giving way to vibrant tannins accenting its beautiful structure and amazingly long finish. This should pair beautifully to almost every accoutrement on the plate. My favorite part...all this, for just under $15. A great 'bang for your buck' kind of wine!"

Fall Steak Salad with Sweet Potatoes, Avocado & Maple Vinaigrette

Serves 6

1 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 Tbsp. maple syrup, divided
6 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 lb. flatiron or sirloin steak
kosher salt
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 small shallot, minced
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
2 Tbsp. crumbled blue cheese, plus more for garnish
freshly ground black pepper
6 c. torn romaine leaves
1/2 c. thinly sliced red onions
1/2 c. thinly sliced radishes
1 small cucumber, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 avocados, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 c. toasted pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine sweet potatoes, 2 Tbsp. of the maple syrup, 2 Tbsp. of the olive oil, and 1/2 tsp. of kosher salt. Toss to coat the sweet potatoes, then pour the sweet potatoes onto the parchment-lined baking sheet, scraping the oil and syrup from the bowl over the potatoes. Roast for 20-30 minutes, stirring a few times, until tender and browned in spots. Set aside.

While the potatoes roast, season the steak lightly with salt. Grill, broil, or pan-fry the steak to desired doneness. Let the steak rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes, then slice very thinly against the grain.

In a small bowl, whisk together 4 Tbsp. of olive oil, 2 Tbsp. of maple syrup, cider vinegar, shallots, thyme, and 2 Tbsp. of the blue cheese. Mash the cheese into the vinaigrette, then season the vinaigrette to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

To assemble the salad: Divide the greens among 6 plates. Add red onions, radishes, cucumber, and avocado. Top with squash, steak, and toasted pecans. Drizzle with vinaigrette and garnish with additional blue cheese. Serve immediately.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

Have a food-related question? Email rhutton@mnmo.com

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Taste Blog

Relishing Cranberries

Combine antioxidant-rich cranberries with another seasonal favorite in this Cranberry Walnut Sweet Potatoes Recipe

SCANDAL!: Why Red Wagon Wasn't on the Pizza List

How could food critic Jason DeRusha leave off Red Wagon Pizza Company?! His reasoning—and your chance to celebrate the Minneapolis restaurant turning 3

Talkin’ Turkey: Are you Ready for the Big Feast?

Forget brining and get even better results with a flavorful spice-rubbed roast turkey recipe

Grilled Chicken Gremolata Sandwich Recipe

Step up your chicken sandwich repertoire with a bit of Italian flair

Best Pizza in The Twin Cities: RANKED!

With the Slice of the Twin Cities pizza competition this weekend, check out food critic Jason DeRusha's favorite pies. (You'll need the carbs before winter hits.)

“Sioux Chef” Challenges Definition of Local Food with Indigenous Restaurants

Chef Sean Sherman is revitalizing indigenous food traditions with two upcoming restaurants, a cookbook, and a nonprofit—using only food native to Minnesota
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sample, Savor, and Play at Slice of the Twin Cities Pizza Event November 5

Enjoy pizza, beer, wine, bonfires, and games on a beautiful piece of property in the western suburbs.

Lentil Mushroom Chili with Optional Ground Beef Recipe

This twist on traditional chili can satisfy both vegetarians and meat-eaters from the same pot

3 Things to Eat This Week: Oct. 26–29

Win tickets to Slice of the Twin Cities by voting for your favorite TC pizza—and this week, try a hearty chili bread bowl from Nolo's, the Yum Yum Bowl at World Street Kitchen, and food critic Joy Summers' big pizza winner last year, Northern Fires
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags