This easy summer recipe for caprese steak salad combines the classic caprese ingredients of tomato, basil and mozzarella with juicy grilled steak. Pile it all on a bed of crisp lettuce, drizzle on some balsamic dressing and take it outside to eat in the warm summer breezes!
Memorial Day weekend is just behind us, and while the official first day of summer isn’t until June 21, I always think of Memorial Day weekend as the start of summer. It is now legal to wear my white jeans and sandals, and to start making all those scrumptious summer suppers.
The other signs that summer is upon us? Our wonderful small town Memorial Day parade. It is full of kids and dogs and our high school marching band and all the great folks who keep our town safe and sound, from the volunteer fire fighters to our amazing mayor (who stopped marching for a sec to tell me she was making my dad’s recipe for coca-cola ribs).
And tractors. We have multiple tractors in our parade, because who doesn’t love a proud red tractor?
Summer sign number two: I have planted my herb and flower barrels, and so far they have not been harvested by the wily woodchuck who lives somewhere in the woods behind the house. Last year I started keeping my basil inside and planting my parsley in a hanging basket, since those are his faves.
I put sage and rosemary and thyme and mint in my barrels, this year surrounded by a fearless circle of vinca and cosmos flowers.
For all I know, those are his favorites. We shall soon see…while he likes to munch on my cherry tree in broad daylight, he ransacks the barrel planters at night. Stay tuned to this channel. Meanwhile, back at the recipe…
What Is Caprese And How Do You Make It?
Caprese is traditionally an Italian salad made up of red tomatoes, creamy white mozzarella cheese and bright green basil, the colors of the Italian flag. Slice up the tomatoes and the cheese, sprinkle them with basil and drizzle on some olive oil and you have a traditional Caprese salad.
And since tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and basil are three of my most favorite ingredients in the world, I have Caprese-ed everything from bread pudding to appetizers, and you KNOW I have snuck bacon into my caprese salad. I’ve even flirted with another steak version that has a Caprese topping.
So here comes my latest Caprese adventure, which takes those delicious items and adds in seared steak along with a tangy balsamic vinegar dressing, and tucks it all on a bed of chopped romaine lettuce. I have recently discovered the deliciousness that is hanger steak, which cooks up in a jiffy and has such a rich flavor.
You are going to marinate the steak in half of the dressing mixture for about an hour (and if you want to do this in the morning, marinating it all day is just fine). When suppertime rolls around, take it out and sear it for a few minutes on each side – if you have a cast iron skillet, it was BORN for this job.
While the steak is resting, cut up the tomatoes and cheese and lettuce, and tear up some fresh basil leaves. Drizzle on some dressing and give it a toss. Add the sliced steak and toss again.
Now divide it among plates and officially welcome summer to your table!
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This easy summer recipe for caprese steak salad combines the classic caprese ingredients of tomato, basil and mozzarella with juicy grilled steak.
- 1 pound hanger steak
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Pinch each of salt and pepper
- 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 cup mozzarella, either cubes or balls, room temperature
- ½ cup basil leaves, chopped
- Prepare marinade: mix ¼ cup olive oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic and salt and pepper.Pour half of it into a measuring cup and set aside (this will be our dressing). Put the rest in a zippered plastic bag. Add steak and let it marinate in the fridge for at least an hour.
- When you are ready to prepare dinner, add the rest of the olive oil to a skillet (cast iron if you have it!). Heat oil over high heat for a couple of minutes and then carefully place the steak in the skillet. Cook without moving it for about 3 minutes, then turn and cook for another 3 minutes or until thermometer registers 125 for medium rare. Remove and let steak rest while you make the rest of the salad.
- Toss lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and basil together in a large bowl. Drizzle the reserved marinade over the mixture, tasting as you go so you don’t add too much.
- Slice the steak against the grain into thin slices and add to the salad bowl with any juices. Toss again.
- Grind some fresh pepper on top and serve!