Steak Salad with Mashed Potatoes, Pesto and Gorgonzola Cheese is easy, delicious and makes a fantastic presentation.
I originally posted this dish almost 6 years ago; so long ago that I had actually forgotten it was buried in the archives. It was a post celebrating my 15th year of putting recipes online, yikes! Not only posted a long time ago but not made since then either and that is just wrong. While working diligently to organize and clean up a lot of older posts, I discovered this one for Steak Salad with Mashed Potatoes, Pesto and Gorgonzola Cheese and was reminded of how amazing it was. Of course the photos were horrid and that was a great excuse to make it again. Maybe it goes against the grain of all things sacred for a Super Bowl Party too but it’s what I offered my guests this past weekend and it sure made things simple. No finger foods here, just this ‘Bisteca ala Panzano’s’ with my favorite margaritas and this FANTASTIC French Silk Pie with a bit of tequila and a hint of cayenne. Don’t scoff at that; make it. Then come back and tell me it isn’t one of the best pies you’ve ever had!
The recipe comes from Colorado Classique – the last cookbook from The Junior League of Denver. I’ve been collecting cookbooks from the Junior League since moving to Denver almost 28 years ago. I wanted something with local flavor and Colorado Cache, published in 1978, was my first and it’s still a favorite. It led me to my all time favorite Flank Steak recipe and was the start of my love affair with French Silk Pie (the original version).
That first cookbook was spiral bound and I’ve actually had to replace it from so much use but the later versions are beautifully bound and photographed and Colorado Classique is no exception. Great photos abound along with a superb collection of recipes from hundreds of home cooks and 25 of the finest restaurants and hotels in Colorado. This recipe was provided to the authors of the book by Panzano’s Restaurant in Denver and carried the moniker of Bisteca ala Panzano’s. I checked and it’s no longer on the menu so I decided to name it something that more people might identify with but either way; it is so good I promise there won’t be another 8 year wait!
I used my cast iron skillet to make this because my outside grill is still covered with snow. Truth is sometimes I simply prefer working inside. I will grill in the cold but can’t really say I love it and once I realized that my large cast iron skillet would serve me better if I just left it on the stovetop, I use it almost every day. It does a fantastic job of creating a great crust on the outside of steak; so much so I wonder sometimes if I don’t prefer that to the outdoor appliance especially when said appliance requires dressing for 20 degree weather!
While I typically make this recipe from scratch in the summer when I have fresh basil, yesterday I did something to make it even easier. I spied a little container of pesto my neighbor Amy had given me from a huge jar she had bought at Costco so there was no homemade pesto to be made. It was so good and beyond easy and I think a jar of that pesto is in my future.
After that it was just a question of grilling the meat, making some simple mashed potatoes (really want to make it fast? Costco has packaged mashed potatoes too!) and then layering the components. So easy and so good and best of all? My guests reaction to this decidedly not football game food. They announced they are so over finger foods and LOVED this way more. Perfect for Sunday suppers sure, but such a pretty presentation might also make this the dish you need to make someone for Valentine’s Day. I promise, they will love you forever.
Flank Steak Salad with Mashed Potatoes, Pesto and Gorgonzola Cheese
For the Pesto
- 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts
- 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
For the Potatoes
- 1 pound russet potatoes
- 3 Tbsp sweet butter
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- Salt and Pepper to taste
For the Steak
- 4 4-ounce portions ribeye steak (I've used flank steak too)
For the Salad Topping
- 6 ounces mixed greens
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 oz Gorgonzola cheese
To Make the Pesto:
- Combine basil, garlic and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add olive oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Fold in cheese. If not using immediately, cover with a thin film of olive oil and plastic wrap pressed on the surface. (Or, in my case? Using a product from Costco that was really fantastic!)
To Prepare the potatoes:
- Cook in salted water til fork tender about 15-30 minutes depending on the size of your potato pieces. Drain and either put through ricer or use potato masher til no large pieces remain. Add butter and milk. Combine thoroughly but do not over-mix. Season with salt and pepper, cover and set aside.
- Grill the steak to desired temperature. I had 1 inch ribeyes and I grilled them for about 4.5 minutes on each side for medium rare. Let rest before slicing.
- Toss mixed greens with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Spread some pesto on the bottom of 4 dinner plates; covering about 5-6" in radius.
- Place a large scoop of potatoes on top of pesto; spreading out but leaving some pesto showing.
- Place a couple of slices of steak on top of potatoes.
- Top steak with greens and Gorgonzola.