I am not and never will be an “I’ll just have a salad” kind of person. Salad on the side, yeah. Salad to start, of course. But to think that just a salad would be enough to satisfy me on any level — emotional, spiritual, physical — is totally delusional. Believe me, I’ve tried. It always ends up with a feeling of deep emptiness and probably a bag of salt-and-vinegar chips.
But this salad is different. This salad has spicy, bitter, sturdy leaves that won’t wilt like some mixed greens out of a plastic clamshell. This salad has a punchy, assertive dressing and properly charred, almost-too-rare steak. This salad will make you forget that salt-and-vinegar chips even exist. This salad will never be “just a salad.”
When shopping for the greens here, look for the arugula that is a little wilder, a little larger than the packaged stuff. It typically comes “by the bunch,” and while it’s a sure bet at your local farmers market, higher-end grocery stores will likely carry it as well. Bitter dandelion, while not as widely available, is starting to become a bit more “mainstream,” which I’m happy to see. If you really can’t find it (or simply don’t care for it), choose another spicy, sturdy green like mizuna, frilly mustard greens, or even baby kale.
Hanger Steak with Dandelion, Arugula, and Grana Padano
- 1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced into rings
- 1/2 teaspoon Asian fish sauce or 2 finely chopped anchovy fillets
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 4 cups arugula
- 1/2 bunch dandelion greens, mizuna, small mustard greens, or baby kale (about 2 cups)
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/4 pounds flank steak, cut into 2 pieces
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus wedges for serving
- Flaky sea salt
- 1 ounce Grana Padano or Parmesan cheese, for shaving
Place the onion rings in a bowl of cold water and set aside.
Place the fish sauce or chopped anchovies and olive oil in a small bowl. Finely chop 1/2 cup of the arugula and 1/2 cup of the dandelion greens, and add them to the bowl. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine; set aside.
Season the steak all over with salt and pepper. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high until shimmering. Add the steak and sear until well-browned on both sides and medium-rare (more rare than medium), 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a clean cutting board and set aside to rest while you prepare the greens.
Place the remaining arugula and dandelion greens in a large bowl. Drizzle with the lemon juice, season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Drain the onions, add them to the bowl with the greens, and gently toss to combine. Transfer to a large serving platter.
Slice the steak across the grain. Arrange the steak on top of the salad, pouring any cutting board juices over the top. Spoon the chopped arugula and dandelion mixture over the top of the steak salad. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and pepper. Shave the cheese over everything and serve with lemon wedges for squeezing.