This recipe is a ménage à trois of dominant flavors coming together in orgasmic harmony. The creamy funk of blue cheese with the bright tang of pickled red onions are the perfect accompaniments to a well seasoned, juicy steak. In fact you can combine any two of these three components for something delicious, but together you get something uniquely balanced and decadent. All that said, I can’t take credit for this recipe for steak salad with blue cheese and pickled red onion. Julia introduced me to this recipe.
Before Julia, I was pretty simple when it came to veggie consumption. Buy lettuce, drizzle with vinaigrette, and consume. Julia does “indulge” my simplistic salad palate, but she also comes from a family where salads are LOADED with meat and nuts and fruit and cheese. So, a version of this dish was one of the first contributions Julia made to our recipe rotation. I’ll admit I was skeptical when she first explained it to me. Tomatoes and steak in a salad? Sure. But blue cheese too?!? Too salty, I said. Too funky. Turns out I was an idiot.
This is a magical combination of fresh, savory, and complex flavors. Steak salad with blue cheese is one of our go-to indulgent meals. We always pair it with a bottle of wine or sparkling and as much baguette as we can eat. I encourage you to do the same. Smearing the ingredients of this salad onto a slice of good bread is a must. Think blue cheese, a bit of tomato, a slice of pickled red onion. And it would be a sin to not washing it down with a cool, crisp adult beverage.
A couple notes on this slightly more complicated version of the dish:
- Higher quality cuts of beef is always preferable if available because they’re most consistently flavored and marbled, but don’t be afraid of skirt, flank, or flat-iron cuts. The key here is making sure you cook your beef to the right temperature and the right texture.
- Pickling onions (or any veggies for that matter) is reeeeeeeeeally easy and you absolutely should do it. Because pickled items add acid, flavor, and crunch to whatever dish utilizes them. Plus, depending on the vinegar used, the reserved pickling juice is a delicious base for future dressings.
- Feel free to skip the lettuce as the delivery device for this dish and make a steak sandwich straight up! If minute steak is all you have available, this recipe easily translates to a beautiful, elevated cheesesteak.