Grilled Eggplant Steak Salad

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2013/05/26 by nikkiledford

It’s official. Grill-time.

grilling... not just for guys

grilling… not just for guys

Not only will you be seeing more grill recipes because of the approaching summer season, but also because I do not have an oven. What?! no oven?! yep. No OVEN. At least not until I go out and buy a badass counter-top convection oven.

So grilling it is. No complaints here.

Few tips for the grillers out there:

Anytime you want to cook meat, it’s a good idea to let it sit out of the refrigerator to lose its chill. If you stick meat on the grill when it’s freezing cold, chances are you will char the outside before you even have a chance to warm up the interior. No bueno. The “de-chill” time is proportional to the thickness of the meat. My ribeye was about an inch thick so it didn’t take too long.

I like my meat medium-rare. Lots of people get freaked out about how long to cook meat. I’ve noticed that the fear of under-cooking meat usually results in bone-dry chicken and chewy/tough steaks. You could always use your handy-dandy meat thermometer (you know, that thing in your drawer with the temperature dial…). And most recipes will give cook times for how long to cook any particular piece of meat. For example, “5-7 mins on each side” or “30 mins, until the juices run clear”. These instructions can be helpful but oftentimes inaccurate. There are so many variables…the overall temperature of your grill, hot spots, how cold the meat is in the first place. These factors can really throw off those instructions. Hence the fear. Hence the overcooked meat.

That being said, I usually use the “poke” test… I poke it with my finger and can tell by how much “give” the meat has whether or not it is rare or done. I know, super technical. The thing is, once you get to know how it feels, you will always cook the meat (granted you don’t forget about it) to your liking. Practice with this. Use the thermometer when you start so that you can see what 130 degrees feels like, or 150 degrees.

Always err on under-cooking the meat because you can always just throw it back on the grill or in the oven to finish cooking.

Also, take the meat off the grill a little bit before you think you should. The meat will continue to “cook” once it’s off the heat and you don’t want to end up with the same “tough meat” problem. Also, by letting the meat rest before cutting, you avoid spilling all the juices out onto the cutting board. A rested steak is a juicy steak!

Enjoy your holiday weekend folks 🙂

steak salad

Grilled Eggplant Steak Salad

1 small eggplant, sliced lengthwise in 1/4 inch slices
1 small sweet onion, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
12 oz. grass-fed ribeye steak
1 head romaine
1 heirloom tomato, sliced into bite-size
1/2 c. bruschetta (I used trader joes’ fresh bruschetta, find it in the cooler)
1 green onion, sliced thin
salt and pepper
olive oil

  1. Preheat your grill. Prepare eggplant by drizzling with olive oil and salt and pepper.
  2. Lay your eggplant slices and onion slices on the heated grill. Grill for 8-10 mins. Flip them over halfway through.
  3. Season your steak (hopefully it’s not straight out of the cooler) with salt and pepper.
  4. Lay steak on the hottest part of the grill to sear, flip after 1-2 mins.
  5. Then move over to a cooler spot and let it cook until desired done-ness (see “poke test” above). The trick is to pull it off the grill a little earlier than you think you should. The meat will continue to cook while it sits on a plate/cutting board.
  6. While the steak rests, chop up your romaine, grilled eggplant, and onions.
  7. In two bowls, divide up the salad ingredients, including the eggplant and onions.
  8. Slice the steak thinly and arrange over each salad.
  9. Spoon bruschetta on top of the salad before serving.
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