OMG it’s actually summer now!
It’s already felt like summer for weeks, but according to the dates on the calendar, it’s official now. Summer, with it’s long days and sunshine, picnics and parties, and farm stands and markets filled with fresh produce. Bright, vibrant, sweet, crunchy, juicy, wonderful, delicious produce.
I know it’s not really corn season just yet here in New York, but real fresh sweet corn is starting to show up in the grocery store and that’s good enough for me. I seriously LOVE the first sweet corn of the season. It’s just so much sweeter and crunchier than the frozen bagged corn I’ve been eating all winter. I know the local stuff will be even fresher, sweeter, and more delicious, but it’s not time yet and I need my fix.
I’m not ashamed to admit that after slicing off the kernels, I was standing alone in the kitchen nibbling away at the ears to get at those last juicy little golden bits.
When corn is fresh and ripe, it’s sweet and crunchy enough to go straight into the salad raw, right off the ear. For an extra layer of flavor though, I tossed the corn into a screaming hot cast iron pan for a couple minutes to roast the kernels just a bit.
Along with the corn, I added crisp sweet slices of red bell pepper, romaine lettuce for body and crunch, red onion for bite, and big chunks of ripe avocados for their soft creamy texture. Then the cherry on top of it all was thinly sliced tender juicy steak.
I think London Broil is perfect for this salad. It’s not too fatty, with nice even marbling, and free of any gristle or nastiness. Flank steak would work really well too. Either way, it’s best if you slice it super thin with a very sharp knife. Russell likes his more cooked than I do, so I sliced the steak in half and put his on a few minutes before mine. If everyone likes it the same way though, there’s no need. Generously season your steak, get your pan screaming hot, and let it go for a few minutes on either side. It really just takes a few minutes. You can cook it as much as you like, but it’ll be more tender, and better for a salad, at about medium rare or medium.
Quick side note, don’t attempt searing your steak on a non-stick pan. The high heat will ruin the surface. It’s best to use a cast iron or stainless steel skillet, but if you don’t have one you can put your steak under the broiler or on the grill instead.
To pair with the sweet crisp veggies in the salad, I wanted a bright acidic dressing with a bit of spice. I chose to go for little more than a couple freshly squeezed limes with their zest, some good extra virgin olive oil, a touch of honey, and a bit of cayenne pepper and chili powder for spice. The dressing is really quick to throw together, and it really is the perfect compliment to all the other elements of this salad. Tangy, crisp, sweet, and acidic, with just a hint of heat.
Summery Steak Salad with Chili Lime Dressing
zest and juice of 2 limes
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon coarse Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (if desired)
Combine all ingredients in a dressing bottle or measuring cup and whisk or shake vigorously.
1 lb london broil
1 teaspoon coarse Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (if desired)
1 large head romaine lettuce
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
2 ears sweet corn
1/2 medium red onion, sliced into thin strips
1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
1 avocado, cut into large bite-sized chunks
Season steak on both sides with salt, pepper, chili powder, and cayenne, and set aside to rest. Shuck the corn and slice the kernels off the ear using a sharp knife. I hold the ear straight up and down with the butt end on a board, and shave down with my knife. Add 1/2 the tablespoon of olive oil to a preheated skillet and roast kernels over high heat for about 4 or 5 minutes, stirring infrequently, until they just begin to brown. Set aside, wipe out the skillet, and add remaining olive oil. Sear your steak for 3-6 minutes on either side, flipping only once. Depending on the thickness of the steak, 3 minutes per side should get you to about medium rare, and 6 should get you closer to medium well. Remove steak to a cutting board and let it rest for at least 5 minutes while you prepare the rest of the salad. Chop, wash, and dry romaine and add to a large bowl with roasted corn, red onion, bell pepper, and avocado. Top with dressing and toss until well combined. Plate your tossed salad and top with steak sliced into super thin strips.