I crave light and fresh dinners in my meal plan more than ever during the summer, which means I often transform some of my regular favorites into a salad. This version, inspired by my favorite fajitas, skips the tortillas and instead layers slices of juicy, cumin-rubbed flank steak along with charred peppers and onions over a bed of crunchy, chopped romaine and red cabbage. It's finished off with a chili-lime vinaigrette for a tangy kick and a little bit of heat.
Here's What to Get at the Farmers Market
Even though not all farmers markets offer the same selection, this salad includes a list of standard ingredients that should be easy to locate in a single trip at almost any market. You can fill your tote with all the veggies listed below, except for the avocado. If your market has a meat vendor, take this opportunity to nab a really good piece of beef. Grab a few limes at the grocery store — all the rest of the makings for the dressing are in the pantry.
Warm Fajita Steak Salad
For the dressing:
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from 2 to 3 limes)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
For the salad:
1 pound flank steak
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 medium red or orange bell peppers, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
1 medium romaine lettuce heart (about 8 ounces), chopped
2 cups shredded red cabbage (from 1/4 small head of cabbage)
2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 medium avocado, sliced
Make the dressing: Whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl until combined and emulsified; set aside.
Make the salad: Heat a 10-inch cast iron skillet over high heat for about 10 minutes; the pan should smoke just a bit when it is properly heated. Meanwhile, liberally season the steak with salt, pepper, cumin, and paprika on both sides.
Add the steak to the pan and cook undisturbed until a deep golde- brown crust forms, about 4 minutes. Flip and cook until until the steak registers 130°F for medium-rare, checking and flipping every 2 minutes, about 4 minutes more. For medium, cook until the steak registers 140°F, about 6 minutes more. Transfer the steak to a cutting board and tent with aluminum foil.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the oil to the skillet. Add the onion, peppers, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly charred around the edges, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Combine the lettuce and cabbage in a large bowl. Slice the steak across the grain. Add the steak, onions, peppers, tomatoes, and avocado to the greens, drizzle with the dressing, and toss to combine. Serve warm.
- Make ahead: The dressing can be made up to 2 days in advance and stored in a covered container in the refrigerator.
- Storage: Undressed leftovers can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.