Grilled Steak with Watercress, Blue Cheese, and Tomato

July 17, 2011
4 Ratings
  • Serves 4
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

Test Kitchen Notes

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. - Susige —Susige

What You'll Need
  • 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • AntoniaJames
  • MaureenOnTheCape
  • fiveandspice
  • aargersi
  • cookinginvictoria

Recipe by: EmilyC

I'm a home cook. I love salads. Two things you'll always find in my refrigerator are lemons and butter, and in my pantry good quality chocolate and the makings for chocolate chip cookies.

14 Reviews

AntoniaJames July 10, 2015
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.
EmilyC July 10, 2015
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! : )
MaureenOnTheCape April 4, 2013
Well I had watercress and all the salad ingredients but no steak so I just made the salad and it was delicious.
EmilyC April 5, 2013
S happy to hear this, Maureen! I'm glad you didn't let the lack of steak prevent you from making the salad! : )
EmilyC April 5, 2013
Oops -- that should be *So* happy...
Susige July 31, 2011
I have a question about your measurements..... Does the "T" stand for tablespoon or teaspoon? Thanks!! ;0
EmilyC July 31, 2011
The "T" stands for Tablespoon, and I use "tsp" for teaspoon. Hope you like the dish!
Susige July 31, 2011
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.....
fiveandspice July 18, 2011
This sounds like a really perfect summer dinner. Yum!
EmilyC July 18, 2011
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!
aargersi July 18, 2011
Red wine and rosemary is a favorite here too - with the salad and blue cheese - perfect!!!
EmilyC July 18, 2011
And perfect because you're left with almost an entire bottle of red wine to enjoy!
cookinginvictoria July 18, 2011
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!
EmilyC July 18, 2011
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.