arugula, steak & cherry summer salad with balsamic glaze.

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wait! i have another summer recipe before it turns to september. 

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this month has been absolutely crazy for me - so much going on in many ways. i meant to share this summery steak salad with cherry a few weeks ago, but here i am squeaking it out on august 29th. 

hope there are still cherries out there to be devoured!

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i discovered that there is a bit of a formula for salads with fruit that really does it for me. and with this formula, it seems the possibilities are plenty.

when i made this, peter goes, "no cherries, please." lol. but he ended up liking the texture/flavor combo. 

i think its taaaasty when adding a bit of fruit to an otherwise all "savory" salad. and it's subtly sweet & juicy!

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salad with fruit formula:

bitter, firm greens (like tenderized kale, arugula, or spinach)

+ different textured vegetable(s) from the greens (example: avocado [i realize that's technically "fruit" but you get it], tomato, or cucumber = contrasting textural feeling from the greens)

+ protein/oomph factor (whether it's steak, or salami, chicken, quinoa, even garbanzo beans or sweet potato i feel add lots of oomph...)

+ mild, salty, creamy cheese (i use feta or goat cheese on most of my salads)

+ a subtly sweet, juicy fruit (like peaches, cherries, apples, plum, blueberries, raspberries...)

+ something briney, vinegary, with bite (like pickled red onions or shallots, balsamic or red wine vinegar...)

+ something small & crunchy (for me that's usually pepitas, but some salads i put almonds or walnuts on top, depending)

+ [optional] fresh herbs (like fresh basil, fresh mint, or cilantro that adds a boost of extra flavor)

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= well rounded salad combinations!

boring salad lifestyle, be gone.

i noticed a through-line between my peach & prosciutto salad and this steak & cherry salad and had to do further analysis. 

do let me know if you come up with a delicious combo that you can apply this super scientific salad formula to :)

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Arugula, Steak & Cherry Summer Salad with Balsamic Glaze

Serves 2

Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium steak (I used a thin tri-tip, but use whatever you prefer)
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder
  • 2-3 cups fresh arugula
  • 1 cup fresh cherries, halved & pitted
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese crumbles
  • 2-3 TB balsamic glaze (use about 1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar & reduce on the stove)

Instructions-

To reduce balsamic vinegar, heat about 1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar to a sauce pan on the stove on medium-high until it begins to boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Let it reduce and thicken about 20 minutes, or until the volume has reduced to half. 

Grill the steak on a grill or barbecue, or cook it on the stove. Heat a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a cast iron pan on medium-high. Sear the steak on each side for about 2-3 minutes, depending how thick it is. Salt, pepper, and sprinkle garlic powder each side. Remove from skillet and let rest on a cutting board for about 5 minutes to allow the juices to rest. 

Halve and remove pits from the cherries.  Slice the avocado.  Add the fresh arugula to a large bowl and toss with a drizzle of olive oil and goat cheese crumbles to coat.

Slice the steak into thin strips and add to the arugula salad. Top with avocado slices, cherries, more goat cheese if desired, and drizzle the balsamic glaze over the top.

Serve immediately!

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happy, happy end of summer.

 

qp

cucumber, peach & prosciutto summer salad.

it's the cantaloupe + prosciutto combo for people who don't actually really like cantaloupe.

hey, we want that delightful juicy summer fruit + thin, salty, chewy meat flavor profile, too!!

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enter the yellow peach. plus thin lightly marinated cucumber ribbons and a bunch of other tasty morsels atop.

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this little summer salad is so so freshhhh, crisp, juicy and so flavorful.

sometimes when it's hot out you just want something cold and crunchy and easyyyyyy. but you demand flavor as well!

this comes together in under 15 minutes and satisfies all of those thangs!

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my personal food critic peter really really enjoyed it too. this is key.

you quickly marinate your cucumber ribbons in a bit of white vinegar, pinches of salt, pepper & red chili flakes. while that's chilling in the fridge, slice and blanch your red onions. slice the peach and gather the rest of the ingredients. 

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build the salad with the cold cucumbers, peach slices, prosciutto, red onion, cherry tomatoes, feta crumbles and torn fresh mint!

sorry bout it, cantaloupe. peach + prosciutto just does it betta. 

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Cucumber, Peach & Prosciutto Summer Salad

Serves 2

Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 large cucumber, mandoline sliced into very thin ribbons
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • pinch of salt, pepper & crushed red chili flakes
  • 1 yellow peach, sliced
  • 1/3 cup red onion slices, blanched
  • 4-6 slices prosciutto
  • handful of cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese crumbles
  • fresh mint, torn

Instructions-

Slice the cucumber long-ways into very thin ribbons. I recommend using a mandoline to make them consistent and very thin (be careful not to cut your fingers!!). Place the ribbons in a bowl and add the white vinegar with a pinch of salt, black pepper and red chili flakes. Toss and refrigerate while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Heat several cups of hot water to boil. Slice the red onion and add to a strainer and set in the sink. Pour the boiling water over the onions to blanch. Rinse with cold water and drain. 

Slice the peach and tomatoes.

Remove chilled and lightly marinated cucumber ribbons from the fridge and begin assembling the salad using the cucumbers as the base. Add sliced peaches, torn prosciutto, blanched red onion slices, cherry tomatoes, feta crumbles and fresh mint. 

Enjoy!

 

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qp