Lentil and Balsamic Skirt Steak Salad

Lentil and Balsamic Skirt Steak Salad
Time:  15 minutes hands-on; 45 minutes total
Yield:  4 dinner portions

For the steak:
1 lb. skirt steak
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves
¾ tbsp. fresh rosemary
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. whole grain mustard
1/3 cup olive oil
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper

For the salad:
1 cup dry green lentils
2 cups water
8 cups mixed greens
2 large handfuls cherry tomatoes
2 avocados, diced
4 oz. bleu cheese, crumbled
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. olive oil
3 tbsp. reduced balsamic or balsamic glaze (usually available in a squirt bottle in the salad dressing aisle of your grocery store)

1.  Prepare the marinade for the steak:  Place the balsamic vinegar, garlic, rosemary, oregano and mustard in a food processor or blender.  Blend until the garlic and rosemary are pulverized.  Add the oil and blend until creamy.  Season with salt and pepper.  Place in a ziplock bag with the steak, massaging the marinade into the meat.  Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes, or refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

2.  Meanwhile, sort through the lentils, making sure there are no stones mixed in.  Rinse.  Place in a medium sized saucepan with 2 cups of water.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover.  Allow to simmer for 30 minutes, until tender.

3.  As the lentils cook, begin to prepare the salads.  Toss together the mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, diced avocado, and bleu cheese.  Add 2 tbsp. olive oil and 2 tbsp. of balsamic vinegar.  Toss to coat.

4.  Once the lentils are tender, remove from the heat and stir in 3 tbsp. of reduced balsamic.  Toss with the other salad ingredients and divide between four plates.

5.  Spray a sauté pan with cooking spray and heat over high heat until screaming hot, about 2 minutes.  Place the steak in the pan, and sear each side for about 3 minutes.  Remove from the heat, slice against the grain (slicing with the grain will make it taste tough), and arrange over the prepared salads.  Enjoy!

Note:  Of course if you have access to a grill, grilling the steak is a great option!  If you do not have access to one (perhaps you live in a city like me or it’s just the middle of winter and you haven’t shoveled a path to your grill!), this stovetop method is a great alternative!

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