Recipe: Warm Fajita Steak Salad

Recipe: Warm Fajita Steak Salad

Kelli Foster
Jan 18, 2018
(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

I often crave light and fresh dinners in my meal plan, which means I end up transforming a lot of my regular favorites into salads. 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.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

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

Serves 4 to 6

  • 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.

Recipe Notes

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.

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