Pan Roasted Steak and Warm Kale Brussels Sprouts Caesar Salad
We have a special place in our heart for both kale and brussels sprouts in the cooler months and our favorite way to eat them together is by making it into a Caesar salad! Not only is it delicious but we even take it up a notch and pair it with a nice pan roasted steak. Talk about easy AND delicious!
Just imagine... warm kale and charred brussels sprouts tossed and saturated in a creamy homemade Caesar dressing with a perfectly medium rare pan roasted steak and all topped with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Do we have your attention now?
Ingredients for Pan Roasted Steak and Warm Kale Brussels Sprouts Caesar Salad
Another reason why we're pretty much obsessed with this salad and make it at least once a week is because it requires minimal ingredients and tastes like a salad we would get at a restaurant. Here's what you need:
Kale: I’ve found that kale is by far the best green to use for this recipe because it has the perfect balance of flavor and texture when subjected to the brief cooking period. I certainly suggest using regular kale and not baby kale because baby kale tends to wilt a little too much. If you don’t have kale, swiss chard works as the best replacement.
Brussels Sprouts: While brussels are my personal favorite for this dish, I have also done the same dish using sweet potatoes or even roasted root vegetables instead and I must say, it turned out pretty darn good.
Parmigiano-Reggiano: Nothing beats the OG! Parmigiano-Reggiano! If you can’t find any legit Parmigiano-Reggiano then I recommend using Pecorino or another aged cheese such as Grana Padano, but please don’t use the stuff you keep in your pantry for decades in the big blue shakers. I don’t want to sound like a snob but trust me, the dish just won’t even come close to being what it should be with that stuff.
Caesar Dressing: While I personally think that a homemade Caesar dressing is the best for this recipe, I get that sometimes you just don’t have time to do everything fresh. In that case, just use your favorite store-bought Caesar dressing.
Protein: I love serving this salad with a nice steak but if you are in the mood for something else, have at it! Chicken, pork, lamb, heck, even tofu works with this recipe!
Notes on Cooking the Steak
While there are no exact time and temperature measurements for cooking every steak universally, I think we all know by now that medium or medium-rare is what you shoudl strive for for the best tasting steak. Many factors such as the size/weight/thickness influence the cooking time, but so does the cut of meat (ribeye, eye round, sirloin, tenderloin, ect.) as well as the fat content.
As a general rule of thumb, always start with a hot pan, add the steak, turn the temperature down to medium-medium-low, and cook the steak on one side until you have a nice crust/color. After that, flip the steak and repeat on the other side. If you're not familiar with how a steak feels to the touch when it is cooked to the proper temperature, don’t hesitate to use a meat thermometer. Even after 16+ years of cooking professionally in kitchens I still will use a thermometer occasionally. Just make sure you are sticking the thermometer into the thickest portion of the steak to get the most accurate reading.
Steak Cooking Temperatures
To help with the cooking of the steak, here is a guide to help with knowing when your steak is cooked to the proper temperature. As a rule of thumb, if you want your meat to reach a specific temperature, pull the meat off of the heat about 5-10 degrees (depending on the thickness of the cut) before it reaches the desired temperature. Even after removing the meat from the heat, the meat will continue to cook so you have to be prepared for the additional 5-10 degrees it will go up or it will end up over-cooking.
Rare: 125 degrees F
Medium-Rare: 130-135 degrees F
Medium: 135-140 degrees F
Medium-Well: 140-150 degrees F
Well Done: 155+ degrees F
Tips for Making the Warm Kale and Brussels Sprouts Caesar Salad
Dress the cooked kale and brussels sprouts with the dressing while the vegetables are still slightly warm: When the vegetables are warm, they will be more willing to absorb the dressing. Once cooled completely, the vegetable’s pores close and then it does not fully absorb the dressing/flavor.
Season each vegetable with salt individually: When you season each vegetable with salt, you bring out each vegetable’s flavor. Sometimes when vegetables are tossed in a salad, they are not seasoned beforehand. You want each vegetable to shine in its own light so in order to do that you have to season in stages.
Make sure you rinse/soak the kale and then thoroughly dry it before cooking in the pan: Kale, whether being bought from the store or being brought in from the garden, always tends to attract soil and sand-like grit. Make sure you take the time to wash it thoroughly and then dry the kale before cooking it. Both steps are very important. The only thing worse than chomping down on little grains of sand in each bite is burning down your kitchen because the water from your kale reacted with the hot oil in your pan. To avoid both, make sure you wash/soak your kale, but then also thoroughly dry it as well.
Make sure you allow the steak time to rest before slicing: When the steak cooks, all of the juices inside move towards the center, away from the heat. If you were to slice into the steak immediately after cooking, all of those juices, which are still flowing throughout the steak, will all flow out of the steak and directly onto your cutting board. To prevent this, allow the steak to rest for 10-20 minutes after cooking so that the juices can redistribute inside the steak and stay there.
If there is one recipe you can make weekly with minimal time, it's this one!
Cheers and eat well!
Pan Roasted Steak and Warm Kale Brussels Sprouts Caesar Salad
Served warm with charred brussels sprouts and slightly wilted kale, this Parmigiano-Reggiano and anchovy-laced salad plays as the perfect accompaniment for a pan-roasted steak.
*Before starting, please note that the cooking time for a steak will vary based on size/thickness/weight/cut of meat. This process is for a 7 ounce boneless beef ribeye*
About 20 minutes before you are going to cook the steak, pull it out of the fridge and season it liberally with kosher salt and black-pepper on both sides.
Let the steak sit at room temperature for 20 minutes to allow the salt to penetrate through the steak.
While the steak is permeating, prep and wash the kale by stripping the kale from its stem. Do this by starting at the base of the kale stem and sliding your fingers up the stem to separate the leaf from the stem. Discard the stems and place the leaves into a large bowl.
Fill the bowl up with cold water and briefly submerge the kale into the water for about 30 seconds. After 30 seconds, pull the kale out of the bowl, shake off the excess water, and pat dry with paper towels. Set the kale aside.
Prepare the brussels sprouts by cutting off the root end of each brussels and then cutting them in half. Once cut, set all the brussels aside.
After the steak has been seasoned at room temperature for about 20 minutes, put a heavy bottomed sauté pan on the stove and turn on high heat. After about 30 seconds add about 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil/cooking oil.
In the meantime, pat the steak on both sides with a paper towel to dry but do not remove the seasoning. Once the pan is hot and the oil is shimmering, carefully add the steak into the pan on one side of the pan and gently press it flat to ensure the entire bottom side of the steak is in contact with the pan. This will form that perfectly-even crust without any blotches. Immediately place the cut brussels sprouts into the same pan on the other half. It is ok if some of the brussels come into contact with the steak.
Turn the pan down to medium and allow the steak to cook for about 6 minutes, resisting the urge to move the steak at this point. Letting it sit, untouched, is what allows that deep-colored crust to form. Occasionally move the brussels sprouts around to evenly cook and color.
Once you see the corners of the steak that are facedown in the pan turn a deep brown color, gently flip the steak so that the other side is now facedown in the pan. After flipping the steak, add about ½ teaspoon of salt to the brussels and stir them to distribute the salt.
After about 2 minutes, take your teaspoon of butter and place 2 slices directly on top of the steak and place the rest in the pan with the brussels sprouts. Gently swirl the pan to distribute the butter throughout the pan and continue cooking for about one more minute or until the steak is golden-brown on both sides and cooked to the temperature you like to eat your steak. I like to cook it to 125 F and let it carry over to a nice medium-rare. The brussels should be done at the same time as the steak and are finished cooking when they are a nice golden brown color and tender to the bite.
Transfer the brussels sprouts to a large bowl and the steak to a cutting board. The butter should still be melting on top of the steak. Allow the steak to rest while you cook the kale.
To cook the kale (in the same pan you just cooked the brussels and steak) turn the heat back on to medium and add half the kale to the pan, followed by two pinches of salt. Turn the heat to high and continue to cook the kale for about 1-2 minutes or until the kale has browned slightly but is not completely wilted. Transfer the kale to the same bowl as the brussels and repeat the same process for the remaining kale.
Finishing the Salad:
Once the Kale, brussels, and steak have all been cooked, finish the salad by adding the dressing to the kale and brussels and tossing them together to distribute. Add the freshly-grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and transfer the mixture to a plate.
Once the steak has rested for about 10 minutes, slice the steak into thin ribbons, making sure to cut against the grain, and place on top of the plated salad.
Serve slightly warm.
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