If you at times loathe those frilly restaurant salads that border on rabbit food, this belly-filling, hearty sweet potato and steak salad with a tangy Carolina mustard vinaigrette is about to be your new vice.
This salad is made with a handful of wholesome ingredients ideal to mark the culmination of summer.
Figs are seasonal, and therefore not always available. We are coming into figs in August and September, so check your grocer often for these purple delights. They add a staggering amount of flavor to just about every dish and are plentiful in vitamins A and C, and a good source of both potassium and iron.
Sweet Potato & Steak Salad with Carolina Mustard Vinaigrette will soon be on repeat in your kitchen, too because it does not involve much prep work, and is handy for that night you forget to marinate your steak.
This late summer Sweet Potato & Steak Salad with Carolina Mustard Vinaigrette boasts all the hallmarks requisite to round out a deliciously hearty and wholesome meal. Roasted sweet potatoes tinged with a hint of salt and thinly sliced grilled filet are accompanied by fragrant ripe figs, paper thin slices of red onion, and exquisite cave-aged Roquefort. A sweet and tangy homemade Carolina mustard vinaigrette finishes the profile. This flavor combination immediately reminds the senses that autumn is around the corner.
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I highly recommend using a high-quality cheese which is why I lean toward the Société Roquefort. That, and I have visited the caves in Roquefort-sur-Soulzon, France and the magnificent experience I had there left an everlasting impression.
Société is imported from France and is available in the United States in most grocers. If you have never tasted it, you are in for something truly special.
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Fragrant ripe figs and paper-thin slices of red onion enhance this bright and colorful main dish salad which has a little bit of everything.
This steak salad recipe is a quick, delicious meal that is ready in under 1 hour. The sweet and tangy Carolina mustard dressing is packed with flavor and the perfect pairing. If I am honest, the dressing makes the salad. You see, all the elements work together regardless, but there is nothing about each that makes you go “wow…” until that is, you add the pungent Carolina mustard dressing. Beef is one of our favorite proteins over here and I love serving it in a variety of ways. This might just be about my new favorite.
Make every bite offer up amazing flavor by LIGHTLY dressing your greens before plating. It makes layering the remaining salad ingredients quick and easy. This way, your final product will not be weighed down with heavy dressing.
In order to properly emulsify this Carolina mustard dressing, I use my immersion hand blender or my Bullet. This dressing is whipped and nearly frappe-esque which is exactly the consistency I am seeking. Kitchen necessaries…click images for pricing.
There is nothing, not one bit of anything that is mundane or boring about Carolina mustard dressing. You already know this if you are a fan of Carolina barbecue…
The easiest way to build this salad is to layer the ingredients over the mixed greens. I almost always lightly dress my greens with a scant amount of the dressing first before building. This way, every bite has something to offer. I use a cave-aged Roquefort cheese for this salad, but Bleu works as well. I highly recommend using a high-quality cheese which is why I lean toward the Roquefort. That, and I have visited the caves in Roquefort-sur-Soulzon, France and the magnificent experience I had there left an everlasting impression.
Go high quality on your choice of beef also. I say this because texture and flavor matter despite not requiring a big amount of beef to get the point across. I use 1 to 2 small prime beef tenderloin filets and grill them medium-rare. This can absolutely be done outside on your charcoal or gas grill. Because this is “come together quick” kind of meal, I find simply heating an indoor grill pan more convenient. They rest under foil once grilled for 10 minutes. Sliced thinly on the bias, 1 or 2 are more than sufficient for this recipe.
Don’t forget the wine! I LOVE an old vine Zinfandel with this salad because the spices and notes seem to echo and elevate the flavors of the key players in this salad, the roasted sweet potatoes, fragrant figs, and the Roquefort.
All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC
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- grill pan or charcoal or gas grill
- mandoline slicer
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Ingredients for A Sweet Potato & Steak Salad
- 2 large sweet potatoes, about 1lb, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch thick rounds
- 2 tablespoons quality olive oil, divided I am using Thea
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, divided
- 1 1/2 pounds prime or choice filet or prime or choice flank steak
- 5 – 6 cups fresh Mesclun greens
- 8 – 10 fresh, ripe brown turkey figs, sliced in half lengthwise
- 3/4 cup paper thin shaved red onion
- 3/4 – 1 cup Roquefort or quality Bleu cheese
Prepare the Carolina Mustard Vinaigrette
- Using an immersion blender, incorporate together the Dijon, the vinegar, the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Prepare the Salad
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Place sweet potato slices on an aluminum foil-lined large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil, and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper; toss to coat. Spread potatoes in a single layer.
- Bake in preheated oven until lightly browned and tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, brush steak with 1 tablespoon of the oil, and rub with 1 teaspoon of the salt and remaining 3/4 teaspoon pepper; let stand 10 minutes. Heat a grill pan over medium-high; brush with 1 tablespoon of the oil.
- Cook steak 6 to 7 minutes per side for medium-rare, or to desired degree of doneness. Remove steak from pan, and let stand 10 minutes. Cut steak across the grain into thin slices.
- In a large bowl, toss the Mesclun greens with 2 tablespoons of the dressing. I do this using my hands so I am sure all leaves are lightly and evenly coated.
- Divide dressed Mesclun among 4 serving plates. Layer the Mesclun with roasted sweet potatoes, thin slices of steak, the figs, the red onions, and finally, the crumbled Roquefort cheese. Serve with the remaining Carolina mustard dressing alongside.
- Serve with an old vine Zinfandel or other red mulled or spiced wine.
Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only.