Flank Steak with Basil Vinaigrette

As the weather turns cooler, I’ve been craving more hearty and rich dishes.  A few weeks ago, the weather was just starting to hint at the cooler temperatures to come, and rather than using the flank steak in my fridge for a salad as I planned, I decided I wanted something more comforting than a salad.  As I dug around trying to decide what else I could potentially make, inspiration hit.  This dish transitions perfectly from the end of summer into fall and winter.  It can be paired with just about any combination of vegetables, depending on what is one season.  But each time I’ve made it, I’ve stuck to both riced cauliflower and mushrooms and then mixed in a third vegetable based on what I had on hand – squash and zucchini, sauted kale, green beans and onions, and most recently, roasted brussels sprouts.

You can grill the flank steak in the warmer months, or cook it in a cast iron skillet, as described below, in the colder months.  The vegetables can also be prepared in your favorite way – grilled, roasted, sauted. Just keep the seasonings simple and let the basil vinaigrette shine!

Flank steak basil vinaigrette and wine

This dish could very easily be bland, boring, and basic.  But adding in the fresh herbaceous sauce that only takes a few minutes to throw together really steps it up a notch and takes it to a whole new level.  It takes this dish from an any other day, clean out the fridge, uninspired meal to elevated and elegant, but still super quick and easy!  The fresh herbs and garlic really bring the wow factor!  So, make this dish, fall in love, cozy up with a glass of wine or hot tea, and share the love with all your favorite loved ones!

Flank Steak Basil Vinaigrette

Flank Steak with Basil Vinaigrette

Servings:  4          Time:  ~30 minutes

Ingredients:
  • 1-1.25 lb flank steak
  • 12 oz bag frozen, riced cauliflower
  • 2 pints fresh mushrooms, such as crimini or white button, whole or sliced
  • Additional vegetables as desired
  • 1/4 C fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1 T red wine vinegar
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • Couple dashes crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions:
  1. Liberally season both sides of flank steak with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat and add a small amount of butter or ghee.  Add seasoned flank steak and sear a few minutes on each side until lightly browned.  Turn heat to medium low and cover with lid or piece of foil, cooking for about 6-8 minutes longer or until desired doneness.  I recommend not cooking past medium (about 160 degrees F), as flank steak is lean and can get tough if overcooked.  Remove from heat and set aside to rest.
  3. While steak cooks, prepare vinaigrette.  Place olive oil in small dish, whisk continuously while slowly adding in vinegar.  Once combined, add mined garlic and basil, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste.  Set aside until ready to serve.
  4. Cook vegetables – saute riced, frozen cauliflower in butter or ghee over medium high heat for several minutes until warmed through.  Season lightly with salt and pepper.  Remove from pan.  Add good amount of butter, ghee, and/or olive oil to same pan.  Add mushrooms, and cook over low heat, seasoned with salt and pepper, until cooked through.
  5. Once steak has rested, cut in thin strips against the grain.
  6. Plate:  add a mound of cooked, riced cauliflower to plate or bowl, pile on cooked mushrooms and additional vegetables, layer on sliced steak, cover it all in a spoonful of basil vinaigrette, and dig in!
Nutrition Info:

365 total cal, 23 g fat, 10 g carb, 30 g protein


Flank Steak with Chimichurri

Unless it’s summer and can fire up the grill, we don’t prepare steak at home that often.  On the rare occasions I decide to make steak indoors, I’ve discovered that the best way to do so is using a cast iron skillet.  The cast iron works perfectly to get that golden brown sear and can seamlessly transition into the oven to finish thicker cuts of meat up.

Recently I’ve been loving the ease of flank steak cooked on the cast iron.  Since it’s a thinner cut of meat, it cooks up quickly to that perfectly medium center with a beautifully browned sear on the outside.  No need to stick this cut in the oven to finish!  Additionally, it’s a leaner cut of steak, being lower in fat and higher in protein than some other cuts such as ribeye.

Additionally, sliced against the grain after cooking leaves it tender enough to skip marinating it.  Pair it with a flavor bomb sauce such as chimichurri, and you’ve got dinner ready in under 20 minutes!

sliced flank steak

For those that haven’t tried chimichurri, you’re in for a treat!  It’s basically a sauce made from fresh herbs, garlic, and vinegar.  There are many variations out there, with additional ingredients such as cheese (making it more like a pesto) or roasted onions.  I keep mine pretty simple and use a blender to bring it together quickly!  Adding this sauce is a quick way to add a ton of flavor to just about any meat dish!  Just look at that beautiful bright green sauce!  Yum!

zoomed in flank steak chimichurri salad

Pair it up with your favorite vegetable side dish or throw it on a salad for a quick and very flavorful meal!

Here, I’ve made a salad with some leftovers, which made it even more quick and easy!

flank steak chimichurri salad

Ingredients:

Servings:  4          Time:  15-20 minutes

For the steak-

  1. 1 lb flank steak
  2.  1 t coconut oil or neutral cooking oil
  3. Salt and pepper

Chimichurri sauce-

  1.  1 bunch cilantro
  2.   2 cloves garlic
  3.  1 small shallot
  4.   Juice of 1/2 lime
  5.  1 T olive oil
  6.  1 T red wine vinegar
  7.  Couple good shakes of crushed red pepper flakes or 1/2 T Chile Crunch Condiment
  8.  Salt and Pepper
  9.  Warm water to thin if necessary

Instructions:

  1. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat.  Add a small amount of neutral oil or butter.  Salt and pepper both sides of the flank steak.  Add the steak to the heated skillet and allow to sear for approximately 5 minutes.  Once seared and cooked about 1/3 of the way through, flip and allow to cook another 5-7 minutes to desired doneness.  I like to leave it a nice medium rare in the middle.  Remove the skillet from heat and allow the steak to sit for awhile for juices to redistribute.
  2. Meanwhile, add all the ingredients of the chimichurri sauce to a small blender or food processor.  Blend until thoroughly combined.  Taste for seasoning and test for consistency and add salt, pepper, chile pepper, and water as necessary.
  3. Once steak has cooled a bit, cut against the grain into thin strips.  Top with chimichurri and serve with desired sides!
  4. On the pictured salad, I used spinach, lightly sauteed bell peppers and onions, some leftover quinoa, and some thawed, frozen roasted corn.  I also love serving it with arugula instead of spinach, as the peppery bite of arugula pairs very well with the bright and spicy chimichurri!

Nutrition info  (for steak and sauce):

230 total cal, 14 g fat, 3 g carb, 24 g protein