Does that look like a dreary plate of leftovers? I think not!On Monday night I made the flank steak with arugula and goat cheese salad and it was terrific. I loosely followed the Cook's Illustrated recommendations (May 2005 issue) for how to deal with flank steak: I made a paste of lots of garlic (I think I used 6 cloves) and olive oil (about 6 T) and salt, pricked the steak all over with a dinner fork (great stress relief to poke the hell out of a piece of meat!), rubbed on the paste and let it sit for half a day in the fridge. At dinnertime I wiped off the paste, ground some pepper over the steak and tossed it on the gas grill. I didn't really time it--I think it was about 4-5 minutes per side. Then I plopped it on a carving board, tented it with tin foil and left it for a good 15 minutes while I finished making the salad. I'm convinced that this last step is what transformed the steak from shoe leather to a chewy but juicy steak. Most of the time I'm so hungry that by the time I'm done cooking I have no patience to let food "rest" (I have also been accused of having a tongue made of asbestos since I often eat foods that are pretty darn hot, temperature-wise).
For the salad, I tossed the arugula with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, ground some pepper over it and sprinkled it with a little coarse salt and then tossed it again with a little balsamic vinegar. I topped the arugula with halved grape tomatoes and some crumbled plain log-like goat cheese.
By the time I was done with the salad prep, the steak had rested and was ready to be sliced (against the grain at a slight angle). And the resulting dinner was terrific! The warm steak and cool goat cheese combined nicely and the arugula and tomatoes offset the richness with their bitterness and acidity. I had plenty of Farm Bread on hand to mop up the steak juice and olive oil, but if one was on a high protein diet, the bread would not be missed. I'll definitely be making this again--it strikes me as a terrific dish for an outdoor party or buffet since it doesn't rely on the meat being hot to be good.
And I discovered that left-over grilled flank steak is a nice thing to find in the fridge when one is hungry the next day! I assembled a steak sandwich and paired it with some of my garden's fresh radishes, romaine lettuce thinnings and cornichons. And much to my surprise, I found myself smiling over a plate of leftovers.