Salad of Pepper-Crusted New York Steak, Semi-Dried Tomatoes and Balsamic Vinegar

posted: 06/30/10

Take Home Chef, Episode 66: Tara S.'s Menu


Serves 4

  • 6 small heirloom tomatoes (about 2 pounds/900 g total), halved and cored
  • 3 tablespoons/30 ml plus 4 teaspoons/20 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons/20 g whole black peppercorns, coarsely crushed
  • Four 8-ounce/225-g New York steaks
  • 8 ounces/225 g fresh baby spinach leaves or mixed baby greens
  • 3 tablespoons/45 ml balsamic vinegar



  1. Preheat the broiler to low. Place the tomatoes cut side up on a baking sheet. Drizzle 1 tablespoon/15 ml of olive oil over the tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt.
  2. Broil the tomatoes for about 15 minutes or until the tomatoes become tender and lose some of their moisture, and the tops are slightly charred. If the broiler only has one temperature setting of high heat, set the pan of tomatoes on a lower rack so that they do not overcook or brown too much.
  3. Set the tomatoes aside to cool completely. Alternatively, the tomatoes may be dried by the sun when the temperature outside is at least 100?F/38?C. To do so, cover the baking sheet of tomatoes with cheesecloth, raised so it does not touch the tomatoes (this will help keep out any debris or insects), and place the baking sheet directly in the hot sun for about 8 hours.


  1. Meanwhile, preheat the barbecue to medium-high heat. Place the coarsely crushed peppercorns on a plate. Coat both sides of the steaks with the peppercorns. Sprinkle the steaks with a generous amount of salt. Drizzle 1 teaspoon/5 ml of olive oil over each steak.
  2. Grill the steaks oiled side down first for about 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare doneness. Remove the steaks from the barbecue and let rest for 5 minutes. Using a large sharp knife, cut the steaks across the grain into thin slices.
  3. Cut the semi-dried tomatoes in half, then place them in a large bowl with the baby spinach. Drizzle the salad with 2 tablespoons/30 ml of balsamic vinegar and the remaining 2 tablespoons/30 ml of olive oil, and toss to coat. Season the salad to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Divide the spinach among 4 serving plates and place the slices of steak over the top of the spinach. Surround the salad with the semi dried tomatoes. Drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon/15 ml of balsamic vinegar around the salads and serve.
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