Watermelon and Lime-Steak Salad with Roasted Corn Vinaigrette

If you could pick any city in the world to spend a weekend exploring, where would you go?

Watermelon and Lime-Steak Salad with Roasted Corn Vinaigrette

I’d probably go to San Francisco 4th of July weekend. You know why? Because EVERYTHING IS FREE. I mean sure, Venice and Rio have their charms, but how can you argue with free?

Watermelon and Lime-Steak Salad with Roasted Corn Vinaigrette

Free jazz festival. Half price bay cruise. Free opera at the Giant’s stadium. Super cheap hotel on Union Square. Free parking on sundays. Free Asian art museum. Free local play in the park. We even got a free morning jog.

Alright alright so jogging is always free. I’m getting carried away.

Watermelon and Lime-Steak Salad with Roasted Corn Vinaigrette

Actually you know what though, that jog was NOT free. It cost me some amount of self-respect to have Eric see me all red-faced and going so slow up a hill in Chinatown that I might have actually been falling backwards and you wouldn’t have noticed.

Watermelon and Lime-Steak Salad with Roasted Corn Vinaigrette

The early-rising Chinese shop owners were kind enough not to cat-call. (Seriously, are you going backwards lady? I can’t tell) At least not in my language anyway. Ignorance is bliss.

Watermelon and Lime-Steak Salad with Roasted Corn Vinaigrette

Well try out San Fran sometime. If Paris is the City of Lights then SF is the City of Awesome Free Stuff.

It was so nice to get away. I’m not talking “from it all.” I mostly mean “from my kids.” Do you know what it’s like to have an entire conversation without interjections of “I want milk,” “Where’s my wand,” “I have to poooooop!”? I had almost forgotten.

Lime-Steak and Watermelon Salad with Roasted Corn Vinaigrette(Try to pretend I meticulously pulled all the corn-hair out of this shot.)

Eric came home from work one time last summer absolutely raving about a watermelon steak salad he had at a restaurant. He described it to me and I tried to recreate it. A year later we have our winner. This Watermelon and Lime-Steak Salad with Roasted Corn Vinaigrette  is kind of ridiculously awesome. There is just something about fresh corn. You can exchange many of the elements of this salad, but don’t lose the corn or the watermelon. Or wait the vinaigrette!! If you ask me, cilantro and corn were a match made in heaven. I could eat this stuff with a spoon.

Watermelon and Lime-Steak Salad with Roasted Corn Vinaigrette See here I goooooo

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Watermelon and Lime-Steak Salad with Roasted Corn Vinaigrette

Serves Serves 4-6     adjust servings

Ingredients

For the steak and marinade

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (2-3 limes)
  • 1 orange, juiced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, smashed and minced (or the jarred kind. let's be real.)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 pounds flank steak or top sirloin (or your favorite steak)

For the Corn Vinaigrette

  • 3 cups fresh corn kernels (cut off the cob is best, but frozen will work), divided
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth*
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (1 large lime)
  • 2 tablespoons red bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, packed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

For the salad

  • 5-ounce bag of spring greens
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, washed and chopped
  • 10 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved (2 cups)
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cups watermelon, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 6 ounces bleu cheese, crumbled

Instructions

  1. First prepare the steak marinade. In a large ziplock bag, squish together lime juice, orange juice, garlic, vinegar, oil, pepper, and salt. Add the steak and turn to coat. Let sit in the fridge for at least a half hour, the longer the better.
  2. Then make the dressing. Heat a heavy dry skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add 3 cups of corn. Stir frequently until the corn has started to brown, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  3. In a food processor or blender, combine 1 cup of the roasted corn and all the rest of the vinaigrette ingredients. (Reserve the remaining corn) Blend until smooth. Pour into a jar and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  4. In a large bowl, add the spring greens, chopped romaine, tomatoes, red onion, watermelon, and most of the bleu cheese (reserve some to top each serving). Toss to combine.
  5. Heat your grill to medium-high. Remove the steak from the marinade and season both sides with salt and pepper. (discard marinade) Grill for about 5-7 minutes per side. This really depends on the thickness of your steak. Here's a good steak guide.
  6. Let the steak rest for 10 minutes, then slice into thin strips against the grain.
  7. Toss the steak with the salad. Dress with as much or as little of the corn vinaigrette as you want, or let people dress their own servings. Top with the remaining bleu cheese.

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If you make this recipe, share it on Instagram using the hashtag #TheFoodCharlatan so I can see it!

Source: Salad idea from the Gunrock Pub in Davis, CA. Steak marinade from the Food Network, corn vinaigrette from Mayo Clinic.