This is a good salad for the winter. It is hearty and full of things that can easily be found in winter. Even the flank is seared on the stove. No summertime grilling necessary. Although there are several elements to this salad most may be prepared ahead and assembled just as you start slicing up the warm flank steak.
- 2 pound flank steak
- 4 clove garlic, peeled and minced
- ½ cup worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoon plus ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper as needed
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 firm but ripe pears, preferably bosc
- .75 cup cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoon pomegranate molasses, or substitute with honey
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- .75 cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup almonds, roughly chopped
- 6 ounce baby spinach, washed and dried
Marinate the flank steak. Stir garlic, Worcestershire sauce and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a non reactive dish; season with salt & pepper. Place the steak in the dish, swirling to get the meat well coated. Marinate, turning occasionally for at least 1 hour, or up to overnight in the refrigerator.
Roast the pears. Place the rack in the center of the oven, then preheat to 450 degrees F.
Grease a small baking sheet with butter. Peel and core the pears, then cut each lengthwise into 8 wedges. Toss the slices with sugar in a bowl then place on the buttered baking sheet. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until softened and browned. Transfer to a plate to cool completely. The pears may be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator up to 3 days, then brought to room temperature before assembling the salad.
Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette. In a blender, whirl vinegar, pomegranate molasses, and mustard. With the machine running add remaining ⅓ cup olive oil, and blend until emulsified. Add ¼ cup dried cranberries and pulse the machine several times to roughly chop them. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Toast the almond pieces in a small skillet set over medium heat, shaking often, until lightly browned. Remove from skillet and set aside in a small bowl to cool. Stir in the remaining ½ cup dried cranberry. Set aside.
Cook the steak. Heat a large cast iron skillet set over high heat, until very hot. It must be an iron skillet to retain as much heat as possible. Remove the steak from the marinade, letting most of the liquid drip away. Sprinkle both sides of the steak with salt. Place steak in the hot pan. Let sear for 2 to 3 minutes until well browned. Flip to the other side and let sear for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let the steak continue to cook for 5 to 10 minutes. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the steak. Flank steak must be served rare. 120°F for very rare, 125°F for rare, or 130°F for medium rare. When the desired temperature is reached, remove the steak from the pan to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes.
When you are ready to assemble the salad, cut the meat in very thin slices, at an angle, against the grain. Place the spinach in a large bowl, add half the almond/cranberry mixture and the vinaigrette to taste. Toss well and arrange the greens on a platter or on individual plates. Top the greens with some pear and flank steak slices to taste. Garnish with additional nuts and berries and a good grind of black pepper.