Grilled Steak Salad with Roasted Tomato Salsa and Cotija Cheese

5 Jun
Spicy Grilled Steak Salad with Roasted Tomato Salsa and Cotija Cheese

Spicy Grilled Steak Salad with Roasted Tomato Salsa and Cotija Cheese

I went twice — mind you TWICE — to my local store that caters to the Hispanic community each day this past weekend to find flank steak for this salad, and both times they said they had sold out already! I obviously need to get to the store earlier in the day if I want that cut of meat.

Nonetheless, I didn’t want to travel to another grocery so I settled on super-thin cut bottom round, which was labeled “for Carne Asada” so figured that would work just fine. I was planning on marinating the meat anyways in a lime juice concoction, which helps tenderize the meat. The idea to make steak salad started with wanting to use up the rest of my Roasted Tomato Salsa  from the other day. It’s been in the high 70s/low 80s  here the past few days and just love to grill in this kind of weather.

Beef Marinating in Chile Lime Sauce

Beef Marinating in Chile Lime Sauce

There are so many things you can do with a salad like this! Some grilled corn would be great on it,  but it’s not quite yet corn season here yet, but settled on adding avocado, black beans seasoned with cumin and some of the salsa and lime juice, halved grape tomatoes, grilled red and yellow peppers, green onion, and black olives. Oh! And the finishing touches of my Roasted Tomato Salsa, crumbled Cotija cheese, cilantro, and tortilla chips.

Fresh Red Leaf Lettuce and Baby Spinach

Fresh Red Leaf Lettuce and Baby Spinach

This was the first time I’d ever bought Cotija cheese, but had seen it used in many Mexican recipes. It’s a brick of cheese that crumbles up like blue cheese, and my first taste realized why it goes so well with Mexican cooking! Such a fabulous “tang” to it! From what I researched it keeps really well too, so my somewhat spendy purchase for 10 ounces of it should keep in the fridge for quite a while and am looking forward to using it in other dishes.

Steak Marinade

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or regular vinegar
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon New Mexico Red or Ancho Chile powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
Black pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 pound thin-sliced bottom or top round steak (or flank steak if you can find it!)

Whisk all the ingredients except the steak in a medium glass bowl.  Add the thinly sliced steak and let marinate in the refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour but up to 3 or 4 hours. Mix around when you can. A half hour before cooking, remove from the fridge and let set to come to room temperature.

Zesty Grilled Southwest Steak Salad

Zesty Grilled Southwest Steak Salad

Grilled Steak Salad with Roasted Tomato Salsa and Cotija Cheese

1 bell pepper (we used 1/2 red and 1/2 yellow), deseeded and halved
Spray olive oil
Garlic powder
Marinated steak (recipe above)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained and seasoned with 1 tablespoon salsa, squeeze of lime wedge,  and 1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 cup of mixed greens per person (we used red leaf lettuce and baby spinach)
1 6-ounce can black olives
3 green onions, chopped roughly
1/2 carton grape tomatoes, halved
1 avocado, peeled and sliced
Roasted Tomato Salsa recipe, for dressing, or any salsa you have on hand
Crumbled Cotija cheese, for garnish
Cilantro, for garnish
Corn tortilla chips, for garnish

Preheat grill to high, spray the bell pepper with olive oil both sides and sprinkle with garlic powder.  Place on grill 20 minutes before ready to assemble the salad.  Meanwhile, mix up the black beans, salsa, lime,  and cumin, and set aside. After 10 minutes flip the peppers over. Now place the thin-sliced marinated steak on the grill and cook each side 3 to 4 minutes, then remove and tent with foil. Remove the peppers from the grill and slice  thin.

Now take the steak and slice thin across the grain. Add your greens to a bowl, assemble the vegetables over it (don’t forget anything, that’s easy to do!), then top with the steak. Add the Roasted Tomato Salsa for dressing, then the cheese, cilantro, and tortilla chips for garnish. This is a great dish to mix and combine any number of fresh vegetables you may have on hand. Olé!

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