Skirt Steak and Cambozola Black Label Salad

Beef is rarely served at my table—that is—both in frequency and doneness. I make an exception for this simple dish. The heartiness and tenderness of sliced skirt steak is complimented by the creamy yet pungent Cambozola Black Label, and balanced by a bed of frisée and mixed greens. While the decadent cheese and steak make a perfect match, don’t skimp on the frisée which adds a welcome spring snap to every bite. Lightly dress and dot with tangy and sweet balsamic vinaigrette.

Skirt Steak and Cambozola Black Label Salad

For the Steak

1 lb/ skirt steak

1/4 cup olive oil (or enough to coat the steak)

Salt and pepper

2 small cloves garlic, minced

For the Dressing

1 T Dijon mustard

2 t honey

3 T balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup olive oil

For the Salad

4 cups mixed greens

2 cups frisée

4 oz. Cambozola Black Label Reserve

1/2 cup dried cranberries or cherries (optional)

1. Marinate the skirt steaks, anywhere from 24 hours to 30 minutes (a full range depending on your patience and foresight). Bring the steak to room temperature before cooking.

2. Pan-sear or grill the steaks.  I tend to use the grill summer through summer, but if yours is closed up, pan-sear the steak in a cast iron skillet (but preheat the pan so it is nice and hot before searing.) Cook the steaks about 3 minutes on each side for the rarer side, or longer to your liking. If you have an ounce of adventure, go toward the rare side. A well-done steak will not have the same texture and will be sure to flatten this salad like a brick.

2. While you are salivating over the pan or grill. Take a moment to get your cheese ready. Yes, your cheese needs a little prep, too. You want the cheese to breathe a bit, as you would do if you were prepping your cheese plate. So pull yourself away from the smoke of the grill or the sizzle of the pan for just long enough to unwrap the cheese and allow it to get some air. Okay, now you can go back and take in a whiff of that steak-filled air yourself.

3. Once the steaks are seared or grilled to medium rare (I’ll convince you yet!) remove them and let them rest. I know. They are juicy and delectable and the smell is tantalizing but LET THEM REST. Besides, you’ve still got the salad to assemble. (Yes, I know you’ve forgotten you were even eating salad staring at that steak, but it is worth it. And now you’ve got the time…)

4. Make the dressing. Whisk together the dijon, honey, and balsamic vinegar. Slowly pour in the oil and keep mixing, until the oil is incorporated. Set aside.

5. Assemble the salad. Plate the bed of  greens on individual plates. (Conversely, you can plate the steak, cheese, and then top with the salad for a more unusual presentation).

6. Slice the cheese into 1/8″ thick  wedges. Then cut the wedge into 1/2″ squares. No need to be precise, but the pieces should be small enough that you can get a morsel in with your bite of steak. Dot the salad greens with the cheese.

7. Sprinkle on the dried fruit if you are using.

8. Set the steak on a cutting board and cut it into 1/2″ thick slices against the grain (the fibers of the steak). For a more precise explanation, get your calculators out and head over to Serious Eats. If your steak was anything like mine, the first slice will be a on the small side and perfect for a taste test.

9. If it is to your liking, fan the slices onto the top of the greens.

10. Drizzle with the balsamic vinaigrette and serve.