massaged kale and flank steak salad with blueberries and pistachios

7:19:00 PM

We returned a couple weeks ago from a trip to Dauphin Island, Alabama, which was a really beautiful place that is sadly lacking in a good food scene.  (We did spend one day and two nights in New Orleans where we had some tasty food, though!) The vacation was lovely, but after days of eating southern fried food and drinking too much rum, we wanted to get back to some healthy food.

This salad is refreshing and super filling.  You really have to massage the hell out of the kale - if you can do it an hour in advance and let it sit for a bit, even better. Bob liked the salad best as leftovers for lunch the next day, as the kale got softer overnight and really absorbed the flavor of the dressing. 

I think any good in-season fruit would be delicious on this as a sub for the blueberries - grapes, cherries, citrus. Pistachios are my favorite nut, but they tend to be expensive, so you can omit or substitute freely. 

Hemp hearts are sort of a trendy fad right now, but I like them a lot. They add sort of  a nutty flavor and aren’t as expensive as a lot of seeds. Sesame seeds would work too.

Massaged Kale and Flank Steak Salad with Blueberries and Pistachios 
makes 4 servings

3 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tbsp maple syrup or honey (optional)
good sprinkle of salt and pepper, to taste
a couple of fresh basil leaves
a couple mint leaves
½ cup extra virgin olive oil

6-8 cups kale, thinly sliced or shredded
1 cup green beans, cut into bite-sized pieces
½ cup fresh blueberries
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
4 tbsp hemp hearts (optional)
½ cup pistachios
2 avocados, sliced thinly
1 lb flank steak, room temperature
salt and pepper

Make the dressing: In a food processor or blender, combine all the ingredients except the oil and mix until well-blended. With the food processor running, slowly drizzle in the ½ cup of olive oil until dressing is slightly thickened. 

Place kale in a large bowl, then pour about ½ the dressing over the kale. Massage for a couple minutes to help soften the leaves. Add in the green beans and blueberries and toss. 

Cook the steak: Sprinkle steak on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet (I use cast iron) over  medium until quite hot, then add the steak. If your skillet isn’t large enough, you can cut the piece of steak in half and cook them separately. Let brown on the bottom, about 5 minutes, then flip and cook 5 minutes on the other side. For medium-rare, cook to about 140 degrees. Remove from heat, tent loosely with foil and let sit at least five minutes. When done resting, place on cutting board and slice very thinly across the grain. 

Plate the salad while steak rests: Place kale mixture on a plate, top with sliced avocado and tomatoes. Top with sliced steak and sprinkle with the hemp hearts and pistachios. Drizzle with a little extra dressing, then serve. 

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