Flank Steak with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Herb Vinaigrette


About 25 ornamental cherry trees line my driveway and every spring they turn the most beautiful shade of blush pink. Bees swarm the trees, working their magic for a few days. You can hear the low hum of their buzzing from across the yard. It is the melody of spring, the sweet sound of our Valley waking up. The pink blossoms informing us all, spring has truly arrived.

Along with our friends, the bees, our little farm is bursting with activity and new life. The three baby cows born in late February are strong and brave enough to run and frolic through the pasture. They prance and trot, chasing each other in some little game through the new grass until suddenly their little bodies tire and they fold themselves into a tiny black dot, laying down in the swaying grass, calling for their mothers to come feed them. We have two baby lambs our sons raise each spring for 4H and their fluffy white fur and sweet faces are a welcome sight every time I go outside.

The rest of the gang is here too; dogs, cats, chickens and cows (not to mention the three kids, growing like weeds). But the babies delight us; distracting us with their adorable antics. We watch them play and grow, gently petting their soft noses when it’s time to feed.

With spring comes the intense desire for fresh food. I don’t want the hearty soups and strews, roasts and casseroles that sustained us through the winter. But spring is tough, because while everywhere you look things are growing, absolutely nothing is ready to harvest. Strolling the grocery store, a container of cherry tomatoes caught my eye. They looked ok; plump with bright red glossy skin but looks can be deceiving. The hope of fresh bright flavors won out and I took the tomatoes home along with an over-priced package of fresh basil.

Knowing the tomatoes would need a little help in the flavor department, I decided to roast them in the oven for a few minutes to intensify their tangy sweetness. A simply marinated flank steak goes on the grill for a few minutes until its medium-rare and topped with those now luscious tomatoes. A drizzle of bright flavorful herby vinaigrette takes the flavor over the top. Whether you make this dish on a slow Sunday afternoon, standing on your patio enjoying the sun warming your shoulders or you serve this for a get-together this spring, you can’t go wrong. Don’t forget some crusty bread to mop up all the juices and a glass of whatever wine is your favorite. Maybe just choose something local?


Flank Steak with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Herb Vinaigrette (recipe adapted from What’s Gaby Cooking)

For the steak:

·         1 (2.5-3 pound) flank steak

·         2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

·         ¼ cup balsamic vinegar

·         1 tablespoon granulated garlic

·         Juice of 1 lemon

·         1 teaspoon dried thyme

·         1 teaspoon dried parsley

·         Kosher salt and black pepper

For the Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

·         1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

·         1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

·         1 shallot thinly sliced

·         3 cloves garlic minced

·         2 pints cherry tomatoes

·         Kosher salt and black pepper

·         Basil leaves (optional)

For the Herb Vinaigrette

·         ½ bunch Italian flat leaf parsley

·         ½ bunch cilantro

·         ½ bunch basil leaves

·         2 green onions, white parts removed

·         2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

·         Juice of a lemon

·         3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

·         Kosher salt and black pepper

To make the steak, start by combining all the ingredients in a large bowl or gallon-size Ziplock bag. Turn the steak several times to make sure the marinade coats both sides. Set aside and allow to marinate for at least four hours or up to 12 hours.

To make the roasted tomatoes, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss the shallot, garlic and tomatoes in olive oil and balsamic vinegar and arrange on the baking sheet. Liberally flavor with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, making sure to turn the tomatoes with a spatula at least once. Cooking time is really up to the individual, the longer you toast the tomatoes, the sweeter and more flavorful they become but they also begin to lose their texture. At about the 20-minute mark, the tomatoes are still plump, but very soft and perfectly sweet and bright. Garnish with a few basil leaves.

Preheat and outdoor grill to medium-high heat. Remove the steak from the marinade, allowing the excess to drip off. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Grill the steak, turning occasionally, until lightly charred on both sides, 10-12 minutes for medium. Transfer the meat to a rimmed cutting board and allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

For the herb vinaigrette, combine all ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. Add a splash of water if the dressing is too thick.

To serve, slice the steak thinly across the grain. Top with cherry tomato mixture and a drizzle of herb vinaigrette. Store extra vinaigrette in the refrigerator for up to three days.