Grilled Steak and Corn Salad

It’s not really summer if we’re not grilling and eating salads so satisfy both needs with this mouth-watering Grilled Steak and Corn Salad.  This salad is delicious with its beautifully grilled steak, sweet corn, cherries, salted cashews and vibrant green basil vinaigrette!

It’s also very versatile…choose from a variety of meats to grill (I prefer flat-iron for this preparation but tenderloin, rib-eye or sirloin will be wonderful, too).  If you don’t have cherries, substitute any stone fruit you can find.  Don’t like cashews?  No problem.  Use salted pistachios or pepitas.  See?  There are so many ways to change up this salad.

My guy doesn’t like arugula, which is what I specify in the recipe.  So, I made the same salad with romaine lettuce and diced peaches instead of the cherries.  Check out the last photo in this post.  I promise you that you won’t be disappointed in the results.

Begin by making the vinaigrette.  This recipe calls for 2 cups of fresh basil.  While that might seem like a lot, it’s worth it to get that rich flavor.  If you don’t have that much, you can still make it but I wouldn’t use less than one cup.  It won’t have as strong of a flavor, but it will still be delicious!

We’re also going to blanch the basil leaves in a pot of boiling water for a few seconds.  This will preserve the vibrant green color.  If you don’t blanch it and blend it fresh into the dressing, the color will be murky.  So, take the extra time and blanch those leaves!

Combine all of the vinaigrette ingredients in a blender and blend on high until all of the specs are gone and the vinaigrette is creamy and smooth.

The hack to cook the corn is one of my new favorites.  The corn is cooked, in the husks, in the microwave.  Once cooked, remove with a kitchen towel or oven mitt as the cobs will be very hot.

Cut off a couple of inches from the stem end of each ear.  Hold the corn at the silk end with the towel and push the corn out of the husk.  The corn comes out perfectly cooked and without any silks (okay, my photo has a silk or two, but not many).  This video will show you exactly what I’m talking about!  Once cooked and husked, remove the kernels by standing the corn on its end and cutting the kernels into a shallow bowl with a serrated knife.  The serrated knife will keep the kernels from flying everywhere!

The steak is very simple to prepare.  Simply brush it with olive oil and sprinkle it generously with garlic salt and pepper.  Grill the steak and flip it every 2-3 minutes to achieve a nice sear on the outside.  Keep grilling until you’ve reached the desired temperature (see my chart below in Chef’s Notes).  Allow it to rest for 10 minutes to seal in the juices.

To arrange the salad, either divide the arugula between 4 plates.  Divide the cherries, corn and steak between the plates.  Toss the cashews over and drizzle with dressing. You could also serve in a large bowl by placing all ingredients, in the same order, into one serving bowl.

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Lastly, if you make Grilled Steak and Corn Salad, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is one of my favorite things to do!

Grilled Steak and Corn Salad

Makes: 4 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Bake Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients

Vinaigrette:

  • 2 cups tightly packed fresh basil leaves (about ¼ pound)
  • 1/3 cup rice or champagne vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp finely chopped fresh lemongrass or lemongrass paste
  • 3/4 cup mild-flavored oil such as sunflower, grapeseed, avocado, vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

For the Corn:

  • 3 ears fresh corn unhusked

For the Steak:

  • 1 & 1/2 pounds flat-iron, beef tenderloin, rib-eye or sirloin steak or your favorite type of steak
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

For the Salad:

  • 6 cups baby arugula
  • 1 cup sweet cherries pitted and halved
  • 1/3 cup salted cashew halves

Instructions

For the Vinaigrette:

Bring a medium-large pot, 2/3 full of water, to a rolling boil. Add basil and submerge it under the water with a large, heat-resistant spoon. After 20 seconds, drain basil and rinse with cold water for 30 seconds to stop the cooking process. Gather basil in your hand and squeeze as much water out as possible.

Combine basil with all other dressing ingredients in a blender container. Cover and blend on high until the dressing is bright green and silky smooth. When you start blending, the dressing will be flecked with bits of basil. Keep going and it will smooth out. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Set aside.

For the Corn:

Prepare corn by placing the three ears in the microwave, unhusked. Cook on high power for 6 minutes. Remove from the microwave with a clean kitchen towel or oven mitt and transfer to a cutting board.

Cut off about 1½-2 inches from the bottom (stem end) of each ear. Hold corn at the silk end with the towel and push the corn out of the husk. The corn comes out perfectly cooked and free of silk! Check out this video for further instructions.

For the Steak:

Keep steak refrigerated until just before grilling. Heat a gas or charcoal grill on high for 20 minutes. Clean the grill grate thoroughly with a wire grill brush and oil the grates.

Just before grilling, brush the steak with olive oil and sprinkle it generously with garlic salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Place steaks on the grill and flip every 2-3 minutes. Cook until meat reaches the desired temperature. See Chef’s Notes below for steak temperatures. If the meat is deep golden brown on the outside but has still not reached the desired internal temperature, move the meat to indirect heat to finish cooking. (If the steak seems dry at any point, brush the top side with a bit more olive oil before flipping.)

Remove from grill and tent meat with foil. Allow the steak to rest for 10 minutes. (This allows the juices to return to the meat.) Slice thinly just before serving. Taste and add a bit more salt and pepper, if needed.

For the salad, arrange arugula on four dinner plates. Divide the cherries, corn and steak between the plates. Scatter with cashews and drizzle with dressing. Pass extra dressing at the table.

Chef’s Notes:

The right temperature for steak will depend on your taste. According to Certified Angus Beef, here are the temperatures for various degrees of doneness:

  • For rare steak – 125˚F. or 52˚C will yield a cool red center.
  • For medium-rare steak – 135˚F. or 57˚C. will yield a warm red center.
  • For medium steak – 145˚F. or 63˚C. will yield a warm pink center.
  • For medium-well steak – 150˚F. or 66˚C. will yield a slightly pink center.
  • For well-done steak – 160˚F. or 71˚C. will yield a center with little or no pink.

To make this Grilled Steak and Sweet Cherry Salad ahead:

  • The dressing can be made a day or two in advance and will keep for 3-4 days.
  • The steak can be grilled several hours in advance. Tent steak and bring to room temperature, then wrap in foil and refrigerate. Slice and warm slightly before serving either in the oven or on power level 2 in the microwave.
  • The corn can be cooked early in the day. Slice kernels off the cobs and refrigerate. Warm before serving, if desired, or just bring to room temperature.
  • Pit and halve the cherries a few hours ahead and store them in a storage container in the refrigerator.
  • Put it all together just before serving and wait for the rave reviews!

For the best cherry pitter, try this one. It will pit 6 cherries at once so that making this salad or a cherry pie is easy-peasy!

Ingredients

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