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Sirloin Steak Salad with Gorgonzola and Pine Nuts

Sirloin is less marbled than more luxurious cuts like strip loin and New York strip, but has great flavor and is the perfect cut to slice and use in a simple salad. Gorgonzola adds a rich tang, and the peppery arugula complements the seasoned meat. To toast the pine nuts, warm them in a small, dry fry pan over medium heat for a minute or two, jiggling the pan to prevent scorching, until the nuts start to brown lightly.

Ingredients:

  • 2 sirloin steaks, each about 1 lb. (500 g ) and 1 inch (2.5 cm)
      thick
  • 5 Tbs. (3 fl. oz./80 ml) olive oil
  • Kosher salt, to taste, plus 1/2 tsp.
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 8 cups (1/2 lb./250 g) mixed baby greens
  • 3 Tbs. pine nuts, toasted
  • 6 oz. (185 g) Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

Directions:

Rub both sides of the steaks with 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. Season both sides generously with salt and pepper. Rub the rosemary into both sides of the steaks. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Or, preferably, refrigerate, uncovered, for 4 hours and remove from the refrigerator about 40 minutes before cooking.

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a grill, or preheat a cast-iron stovetop grill pan over high heat.

Place the steaks on the grill rack over the hottest part of the fire or in the grill pan and cook without moving them for 2 1/2 minutes. Move them after 1 minute if the fire flares up. Turn the steaks over and cook for 2 1/2 minutes. Move the steaks to a cooler part of the grill or reduce the heat to medium, and continue to cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of a steak registers 125°F (52°C) for very rare to rare, about 5 minutes more, or until done to your liking. Transfer the steaks to a platter, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let stand for at least 10 minutes or up to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, garlic, the 1/2 tsp. salt and plenty of pepper. Whisking constantly, add the remaining 4 Tbs. olive oil in a thin stream and continue to whisk until emulsified.

Arrange the baby greens in a large serving bowl. Cut the steaks across the grain into slices about 1/2 inch (12 mm) thick and arrange on the salad. Top with the pine nuts and cheese, drizzle with the dressing and serve immediately. Serves 4.

A note from the butcher: If you’re feeding a crowd and want to save a little money, you can use top round in place of the sirloin. Ask your butcher for inside top round, a nice cut from the round that is often less expensive than sirloin. You won’t have to alter the cooking method.
– James Cross, Marczyk Fine Foods, Denver, CO

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma The Cook and The Butcher, by Brigit Binns (Weldon Owen, 2011).