Perfect Steak Salad

If your child is not of the salad persuasion, he can simply eat the steak, potatoes, and green beans and be none the worse for wear. Adapt this as you like with chicken or salmon instead of steak, marinated in a bit of the dressing before grilling, and any veggies you want, such as cukes, steamed asparagus, sliced bell peppers, or fresh corn kernels.

Hands-On Time: 15 minutes
Ready In: 50 minutes
Yield: 4 servings


    1/2 pound tiny new potatoes
    Kosher salt
    1/2 pound green beans, trimmed
    1 pound New York strip steak, about 1 inch thick
    1/2 cup olive oil (more if not grilling steak)
    1/4 cup sherry vinegar (or whatever you like best)
    2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
    1/4 teaspoon sugar
    5 or so cups of salad greens (I use one romaine heart, sliced crosswise, and a handful of arugula)
    1 can white beans, rinsed and drained well (I use great northern or cannellini)
    Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved


  1. Put potatoes in a pot and cover with cold water. Salt generously (the water should taste salty), cover, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until just barely tender — 15 to 25 minutes, depending on the size and age of potatoes. Dump green beans on top of them (who wants to dirty another pot?) and cook another 5 minutes, until beans are just tender. Drain potatoes and beans in a colander and run under cold water for a minute or two, until cool to the touch. Wrap in a clean dishtowel to dry, then quarter potatoes.
  2. While you heat the grill, season steak with 2 teaspoons salt, 1 per side; it may seem like a lot, but trust me. Cook for 4 or 5 minutes a side for medium rare — or until done to your liking — then rest on a cutting board for 5 minutes before thinly slicing it across the grain. (Alternately, heat a heavy frying pan — cast iron is best — over medium-high heat until a drop of water bounces, coat lightly with olive oil, and cook steak for 4 or 5 minutes a side, turning heat down if it seems to be browning too fast.)
  3. Whisk together oil, vinegar, mustard, 1 teaspoon salt, and sugar.
  4. To assemble the salad, lay greens in a wide, shallow dish, dress lightly, then top artfully with a ring of potatoes, green beans, and white beans, and pour a bit more dressing over — but don't toss. Pile steak in the center, decorate with cherry tomatoes, and let everyone help themselves. Offer leftover dressing in a small pitcher at the table.

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