Grilled Steak Salad with Sweet Cherries and Lemongrass Basil Dressing

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This Grilled Steak Salad and Sweet Cherry Salad is the perfect summer salad – healthy, hearty, bursting with fresh, seasonal ingredients and loaded with tender, succulent steak!

It seems that every time I run into the grocery store at this time of the year, there’s new summer produce, beautifully displayed and (always) calling my name. The corn has been sweet and tender and this week I noticed plump, shiny red cherries on sale. I was reminded that it’s the perfect time to make this wonderful Grilled Steak and Sweet Cherry Salad!

Horizontal overhead photo of a Grilled Steak and Sweet Cherry Salad on a barnyard table surface.

The first time I made this seasonal salad, Scott took one bite and said, ” “This is fantastic”! He loved the bright, fresh dressing and there wasn’t even one kernel of corn left on his plate at the end of the meal. He called it “a hearty man’s salad” and thought it would be perfect for Father’s Day. I agree, although I loved it as much as he did, and think it would also be a great choice for a girl’s night get-together.

Horizontal overhead closeup photo of a Grilled Steak and Sweet Cherry Salad on a barn board wood table.

Here’s what one reader had to say about this recipe:

Hi Chris, I almost never comment on blogs, and it’s even more rare for me to rave about a salad, but…WOW! Dinner was almost completely quiet last night because we couldn’t stop eating, and we paused only to talk about how great it was! That dressing! Luckily we have leftovers for tonight!

Vertical overhead closeup photo of a Grilled Steak and Sweet Cherry Salad on a barn board table.

The dressing for this Grilled Steak and Sweet Cherry Salad really deserves a post of its own. It’s a variation of one of our all-time favorite salad dressings, this Sweet Basil Vinaigrette. I gave the recipe a new twist for this steak salad, cutting back a bit on the sweetness, omitting the mustard and adding ginger and lemongrass for a fresh, new taste. Once you try it, I think you’ll agree that it’s a fabulous addition to any summer salad!

Vertical extreme closeup photo of a Grilled Steak and Sweet Cherry Salad in a white and blue patterned serving bowl.

Use your favorite steak

I have used rib-eye, flat-iron steak, New York strip and beef tenderloin fillets. They are all delicious, so just use whichever you like best and/or whichever is most affordable.

Vertical extreme closeup photo of a Grilled Steak and Sweet Cherry Salad with a jar of Sweet Basil Vinaigrette Dressing.

The right temperature for steak

The important thing when grilling steak is to take it off the grill when it reaches “the right” temperature. It’s easy to check the temperature with an instant thermometer. Instant thermometers are quite affordable these days and, like the name says, will register an accurate temperature within seconds. Instant thermometers are small and easy to store and can also be used for lots of other kitchen tasks. This one is also waterproof and has a lifetime warranty.

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.

The EASY way to cook corn!

I used to think cooking fresh corn was a bit of a pain. All those husks and silks everywhere! But a number of years ago, I discovered a technique that makes cooking corn a piece of cake! The corn is cooked with the husks on in the microwave. When it’s done cooking, just slice off the bottom one and a half inches and, using a hot pad, SLIDE the corn right out with no mess and no silks everywhere!

My daughter-in-law, Lindsay put together a video to demonstrate this easy technique:

Awesome, right?

So, throw a bag of cherries, a few ears of fresh corn and a nice steak in your cart next time you’re at the market. If you like meals light and lean, but bursting with fresh, fabulous flavor, I think you’ll love having this Grilled Steak and Sweet Cherry Salad in your summer recipe arsenal – Bon Appetit from The Café!

Vertical overhead photo of a Grilled Steak and Sweet Cherry Salad on a barn board table served with Sweet Basil Vinaigrette Dressing.

Café Tips for making this Grilled Steak and Sweet Cherry Salad

  • Many grilled steak recipes call for removing the steak from the refrigerator and allowing it to come to room temperature. I like to leave it in the fridge until just before grilling. That way, the outside can get nice and brown and even slightly charred before the inside gets to the desired temperature. You can always transfer the steak to indirect heat if it seems to be getting too brown.
  • Serve the steak and corn warm or at room temperature, either way, it’s great. If you’re one who doesn’t like to fuss at the last minute, everything for this salad can be prepped ahead of time and plated right before serving.
  • 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!
  • I used to think it was a pain in the neck to pit cherries. I only bought them for eating, as it was too much work to pit them for recipes; plus I hated that my fingers were always stained red after the tedious process. No more! A few summers ago, I discovered this inexpensive cherry pitter and now I use cherries in lots of recipes! I don’t even mind making cherry jam these days (which takes a LOT of pitted cherries). You can pit enough cherries to make a batch of jam in 5 minutes with this handy little device! And if you have children or grandchildren, they think it’s really fun to help – and actually fight over who gets to pit the cherries!
  • The dressing calls for 2 cups of basil. That’s a lot of basil. It’s a perfect way to use up a bumper crop of basil but if you only have one cup or just a packet from the grocery store, go ahead and make it with the smaller amount, it will still be delicious!
  • The basil leaves are blanched in hot water before being combined with the other ingredients and blended. This is done to destroy the enzymes which can cause discoloring and spoilage of the dressing. The blanching helps keep the pretty green color intact for days.
  • The salad dressing in this recipe calls for both fresh ginger and fresh lemongrass. I find it really convenient to keep tubes of ginger paste and lemongrass paste in either the refrigerator or the freezer. These aren’t ingredients I use on an everyday basis but it’s nice to have them on hand for recipes like this. These pastes taste like the fresh products and will keep in the freezer for months on end. When it’s in the freezer and I need some for a recipe, I just let the tube thaw for 10 minutes, squeeze out what I need, then pop it right back into the freezer. Both ginger and lemongrass pastes can be found at many larger grocery stores in the produce section.

Thought for the day:

And those who know your name
put their trust in you,
for you, O Lord,
have not forsaken those who seek you.
Psalm 9:10 

What we’re listening to for inspiration:

The Lord’s My Shepherd

 

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If you enjoy this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear your results, adaptations and ideas for variations.

Grilled Steak and Sweet Cherry Salad

This Grilled Steak Salad and Sweet Cherry Salad is the perfect summer salad – healthy, hearty, bursting with fresh, seasonal ingredients and loaded with tender, succulent steak!

Author: Chris Scheuer

Horizontal overhead photo of a Grilled Steak and Sweet Cherry Salad on a barnyard rustic table.

Prep Time:
30 mins

Cook Time:
20 mins

Total Time:
50 mins

Servings: 4

Calories: 412 kcal

Ingredients

For the dressing:

  • 2
    cups
    tightly packed fresh basil leaves
    about ¼ pound

  • cup
    rice vinegar
  • 1
    tablespoon
    sugar
  • 1
    tablespoon
    honey
  • 1
    clove
    garlic
    finely minced
  • 1
    tablespoon
    finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 2
    teaspoons
    finely chopped fresh lemongrass
    or lemongrass paste
  • ¾
    cup
    mild-flavored oil
    such as sunflower, grapeseed, avocado, vegetable or canola oil
  • ¼
    teaspoon
    kosher salt
  • ¼
    teaspoon
    freshly ground black pepper

For the corn:

  • 3
    ears
    fresh corn
    unhusked

For the steak:

  • 1 ½
    pounds
    flat-iron, beef tenderloin, rib-eye or sirloin steak
    or your favorite type of steak

  • teaspoons
    garlic salt
  • 1
    teaspoon
    freshly ground black pepper

For the salad:

  • 6
    cups
    baby arugula
  • 1
    cup
    sweet cherries
    pitted and halved

  • cup
    salted cashew halves

Instructions

For the dressing:

  1. Bring a medium-large pot, ⅔ 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.

  2. 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:

  1. 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 the video above in the post!

For the steak:

  1. Keep steak refrigerated until just before grilling.

  2. 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.

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

  4. Place steaks on the grill and flip every 2-3 minutes. Cook until meat reaches the desired temperature. See Café Tips above in the post 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.)

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

Recipe Notes

See Café Tips above in the post for more detailed instructions and tips to ensure success.

If you prefer to use Metric measurements there is a button in each of our recipes, right above the word “Instructions”. Just click that button to toggle to grams, milliliters, etc. If you ever come across one of our recipes that doesn’t have the Metric conversion (some of the older recipes may not), feel free to leave a comment and I will add it.

Calories 412kcal

Fat 14g

Saturated fat 4g

Trans fat 0.01g

Polyunsaturated fat 2g

Monounsaturated fat 6g

Cholesterol 104mg

Sodium 1135mg

Potassium 1044mg

Carbohydrates 31g

Fiber 3g

Sugar 17g

Protein 43g

Vitamin A 864%

Vitamin C 12%

Calcium 112%

Iron 5%

 

Grilled Steak and Sweet Cherry Salad

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