I come from California, the land of salad for dinner. You can’t ask for a much simpler homemade meal (I mean, unless cereal counts).
With this easy and delicious steak salad, pan-seared skirt steak sits atop a bed of spring greens, carrots, radishes, and apples. The miso vinaigrette- tangy, sweet, substantial, and full of umami, provides another layer of wow.
You may only know miso from its ubiquitous appearance as a soup at your favorite sushi joint, but miso is so much more!
Miso is a thick fermented paste made from a combination of legumes and grains – it can take over a year to make! Miso can range in color and flavor from dark-hued and super funky to light, buttery, and almost sweet. It can provide amazing depth of flavor to all sorts of dishes, and in the case of this dressing, it also acts as a thickener – which means less need for oil!
One of the things I love about this skirt steak salad is that it’s so incredibly quick to make. If I’m feeling organized, I prep and cook the individual ingredients on Sunday so I can toss together quick meals all week long, but you can also easily make the recipe, start to finish, in 30 minutes.
I chose apples, carrots, and radishes to round out this salad because I always have them on hand and because they pair so well with miso.
You can get creative, though, and try this salad with seasonal fruits and veggies of your choice. Miso also pairs particularly well with corn, mushrooms, beets, citrus, eggplant, and pineapple. Come to think of it, that sounds like a pretty fantastic salad, too.
California is having one of its wettest years on record, so I have yet to pull out the grill, but I’m not going to let the weather stand in the way of delicious steak.
Instead, I pull out my cast iron skillet or grill pan to cook a steak with a nice crust and juicy interior. You'll need to open the windows and turn your hood fan onto high while you heat the pan and during the cooking – searing steak can create a lot of smoke! It also helps to leave your steak on the counter for about 30 minutes to take some of the chill off.
Steak Salad with Miso Vinaigrette
Look for miso in the refrigerated section of your grocery store, sometimes near the produce section. Buy for white miso, or use any light-colored miso. I like the chickpea miso from Miso Masters.
- For the miso dressing:
- 3 tablespoons white miso, or other light-colored miso
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup (optional)
- 1 tablespoon neutral flavored oil
- For the steak:
- 1 pound skirt steak
- 1 teaspoon paprika (sweet, hot, or smoked — your choice)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons high-heat cooking oil
- For the salad:
- 6 to 8 cups spring greens
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 4 to 6 radishes, thinly sliced
- 1 apple, any kind, cored and thinly sliced
Make the miso dressing:
Whisk together miso, rice vinegar, Dijon, maple syrup, and oil. Use a blender for a creamier consistency. (This can be done several days in advance; whisk before tossing the salad if the dressing has separated.)
Warm the pan for the steak:
Heat a large cast iron or stainless steel skillet (or grill pan) over medium-high heat until it is very hot and a drop of water evaporates on contact, 3 to 5 minutes.
Season the steak:
While the pan is heating, mix together paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper and pat the onto the steak on all sides.
Cook the steak:
Turn on a vent fan or open a window – searing the steak will create a lot of smoke. Add the oil to the hot pan and tilt the pan to coat the bottom.
Place the steak in the middle of the pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on the second side, or until it has reached your desired doneness. (My steak reached 125oF, rare, in about 7 minutes total.)
Rest the steak:
When steak is done, move it to a cutting board to rest for 10 minutes.
Slice the steak:
After the resting period, slice against the grain, and trim off any excess fat or gristle. The steak can be served immediately with the salad, or cooled and refrigerated for up to 5 days for quick meals.
Toss the salad:
When you’re ready to eat, toss greens, carrots, radishes, and apples together in a large bowl with a tablespoon of the miso vinaigrette. Taste one of the leaves and add more vinaigrette, one tablespoon at a time, to taste.
Serve the salad:
Divide the salad between four plates. Top with slices of steak, dividing the steak evenly between all the plates.
For dinner parties, serve the salad on a large platter and let guests help themselves. (This recipe can also be easily doubled for larger parties.)