Grilled Steak with Watercress, Blue Cheese, and Tomato

By • July 17, 2011 16 Comments

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Author Notes: This red wine-rosemary marinade is one of my favorite ways to prepare steak. It's easy to prep, uses ingredients that I almost always have on hand, and perfectly seasons the steak every time. Here I’ve included my riff on a classic steakhouse salad. The best part: when you cut your steak into bite-sized pieces, a little juice spills out and creates a delicious, impromptu salad dressing. Plan to buy extra steak and salad ingredients when you make this dish -- leftovers make a fabulous steak sandwich on toasted ciabatta.EmilyC

Food52 Review: A long soak in the savory marinade with fresh rosemary made for a tender and flavorful flank steak. The watercress was a delightful choice for the greens and its peppery bite married well with the dressing, the onions, tomatoes and blue cheese. We had never eaten watercress before. My husband asked for seconds and claimed the recipe a keeper. That’s always a good thing. - SusigeSusige

Serves 4

For the marinade and steak

  • ¼ cup red wine
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 T fresh rosemary leaves, minced
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 T kosher salt
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • 2 lb steak (flank, skirt, or hanger recommended)

For the salad and vinaigrette

  • 4 large handfuls watercress
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 oz blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 2 T red wine vinegar
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tsp honey
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt + freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. To marinate the steak: In a small bowl, whisk together the red wine, vinegar, olive oil, rosemary, garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes. Place the steak in a non-reactive dish and pour in the marinade, turning a few times to evenly coat both sides. Cover and refrigerate 4 to 8 hours.
  2. To grill the steak: Remove the steak from the refrigerator and allow to sit (still in the marinade) at room temperature for about 40 minutes before grilling. Meanwhile, prep your grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat. Brush your grates clean. Remove the steak from its marinade. Grill the steak until cooked to your desired doneness, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side for medium-rare. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for at about 10 minutes while you prep the salad. Thinly slice against the grain (no larger than 1/4" slices).
  3. To make the vinaigrette: Whisk together the vinegars, honey and red pepper flakes in a bowl. Gradually whisk in the olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. To assemble salad and serve: Right before serving, combine the watercress, red onions, and tomatoes in large bowl. (Optional: before adding the red onion slices, you can soak them in a bowl of cold water for about 5 minutes to remove their bite.) Add the vinaigrette, a little at a time, until your salad is lightly and evenly dressed; you will likely have leftover vinaigrette. Taste for seasoning. Divide the salad evenly among 4 large dinner plates, top with blue cheese crumbles and slices of flank.

More Great Recipes: Beef & Veal|Entrees|Steak|Cherries

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Comments (16) Questions (1)


about 1 month ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

This sounds so good! I've got our steaks in this marinade right now. I'm getting hungry just thinking about them. ;o) P.S. I've made a mental note that this would be a great marinade to use when freezing steaks. Mr T and I cannot eat a whole flank steak, so I often cut one in half, to freeze in the marinade. I have a huge rosemary bush on the retaining wall out back, and always seem to have red wine on hand, so this is just perfect.


about 1 month ago EmilyC

Hi AJ -- let me know how you like the marinade! It's an old favorite of mine though I haven't made it in a long time. Thanks for the reminder! : )


over 2 years ago MaureenOnTheCape

Well I had watercress and all the salad ingredients but no steak so I just made the salad and it was delicious.


over 2 years ago EmilyC

S happy to hear this, Maureen! I'm glad you didn't let the lack of steak prevent you from making the salad! : )


over 2 years ago EmilyC

Oops -- that should be *So* happy...


about 4 years ago Susige

I have a question about your measurements..... Does the "T" stand for tablespoon or teaspoon? Thanks!! ;0


about 4 years ago EmilyC

The "T" stands for Tablespoon, and I use "tsp" for teaspoon. Hope you like the dish!


about 4 years ago Susige

Thanks! I thought so but just wanted to make sure before I started adding ingredients. I'm delighted that I actually was able to find watercress today.....


about 4 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I have been eating watercress with everything lately, I just love it this sounds right up my alley!!


about 4 years ago EmilyC

Thanks! Love watercress's a nice change from arugula...


about 4 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

This sounds like a really perfect summer dinner. Yum!


about 4 years ago EmilyC

Thanks very much! By the way, I'm dying to try your raspberry muffins...I know I'll love them, and I know I'll eat too many of them!


about 4 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Red wine and rosemary is a favorite here too - with the salad and blue cheese - perfect!!!


about 4 years ago EmilyC

And perfect because you're left with almost an entire bottle of red wine to enjoy!


about 4 years ago cookinginvictoria

This sounds really wonderful, EmilyC. Love the red wine and rosemary marinade for the steak, and the watercress and blue cheese salad sounds like the perfect accompaniment for the steak. A perfect dinner for a warm summer evening!


about 4 years ago EmilyC

Thanks cookinginvictoria! And I agree...a steak salad on a summer evening is hard to beat! It's great when you can make dinner on the grill and not turn on the stove.