A Meaty 2nd Act

A Meaty 2nd Act
This recipe refreshes leftover steak with a bright lemony vinaigrette, the season's best farmers market produce, and hearty farro to round it out. (Lynda Balslev for Tastefood)

Leftover steak is an unlikely star of this hearty main course salad. Cold meats can be a welcome addition to many salads—especially in the summer, when you crave a fresh salad and a substantial meal at once. It also solves how to use up any leftover meat from a previous evening’s barbecue bonanza.

This recipe efficiently (and deliciously) corrals a few lone pieces of yesterday’s meat lurking in the fridge with the season’s best farmers market produce and hearty farro. A lemony vinaigrette refreshes the chilled steak. No leftover steak on hand? No problem. Just add meat to your shopping list and cook up a piece for the salad; it’s worth the extra step.

Any cut of steak is fair game for this recipe. I used New York strip steak, since that’s what I had. Skirt, hanger, and flat iron steaks are also good contenders. Use pearled or semi-pearled farro; whole, unpearled farro requires an overnight soak and will take much longer to cook.

Steak and Farro Salad With Beets and Tarragon

Active Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 40 minutes
Serves 4
  • 1 1/2 pounds leftover steak, such as New York strip, skirt, or flat iron (see cooking instructions below for fresh steak)
For the Dressing
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sriracha
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the Salad
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock or water
  • 1 1/2 cups pearled or semi-pearled farro, rinsed
  • Kosher salt
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 to 4 baby golden beets, peeled, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, halved lengthwise, each half thickly sliced
  • 1/2 cup shelled fresh garbanzos or English peas
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves
  • Freshly ground black pepper
If using leftover steak, remove the steak from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature while you prepare the farro.

Whisk the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.

Combine the stock, farro, and 1 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until the farro is tender but still chewy, about 30 minutes. When the farro is ready, drain any excess liquid and transfer to a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the dressing and stir to coat.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the beets and sauté until they’re crisp-tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the onion and garbanzos (or peas) and lightly season the vegetables with salt. Continue to sauté until the onions soften and the garbanzos are bright in color, 2 to 3 minutes more. Add the vegetables to the farro.

If using fresh steaks, lightly brush the steaks with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over direct medium-high heat until cooked to your desired doneness (or sear in a hot skillet with a little olive oil or butter over medium-high heat on the stovetop), 6 to 8 minutes for medium-rare for a 1-inch-thick New York strip steak. (The timing will vary depending on the thickness of the steaks.) Let rest for 5 minutes, then slice crosswise or against the grain, about 1/2-inch thick.

Spread the farro and vegetables on a serving platter or divide between serving plates. Top with the steak. Drizzle the remaining dressing over the salad to your taste. Garnish with tarragon and freshly ground black pepper.

Lynda Balslev is a cookbook author, food and travel writer, and recipe developer based in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she lives with her Danish husband, two children, a cat, and a dog. Balslev studied cooking at Le Cordon Bleu Ecole de Cuisine in Paris and worked as a personal chef, culinary instructor, and food writer in Switzerland and Denmark. Copyright 2021 Lynda Balslev. Distributed by Andrews McMeel Syndication.
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