Over the weekend I tested and photographed a recipe for one of my clients that was an arugula salad topped with grilled peaches (from The Peach Truck), blue cheese, thinly sliced red onions and hazelnuts along with a simple balsamic vinaigrette. All very good and summer-like and beautiful.
Using the leftovers I put together pretty much the same thing for our supper with the added deliciousness of a Middle Eastern seasoned and grilled flank steak.
The first time I was really aware of Za’atar seasoning was while having dinner a couple of years ago at one of my favorite Nashville restaurants, Epice. They served us wonderful bread with a dipping sauce that was more flavorful than the norm. I inquired about the seasoning and was told it was Za’atar. Middle Eastern in origin, it has been one of my seasoning basics ever since. I put it on my roasted vegetables, in salad dressings and rub it into steaks or chicken, lamb or pork before grilling. You can now buy it at lots of grocery stores and markets. I buy mine at K & S World Market on Charlotte Avenue.
Thank you to all our Nashville international community who open markets and restaurants where we can find such wonderful things to eat. You have brought the world to us bite by delicious bite.
It’s very easy to make your own. All you need is minced fresh thyme or dried thyme, toasted sesame seeds, ground sumac and sea salt.
Grilled Za'atar Flank Steak and Peaches, Blue Cheese and Hazelnut Salad
- 4 handfuls of fresh baby arugula leaves
- 3-4 fresh peaches, pitted and cut into sections
- 3 tablespoon olive oil for brushing on peaches
- 1/4 cup olive oil whisked with 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar & salt in a small bowl
- 1/2 of a small red onion very thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup toasted, chopped hazelnuts
- 1 to 2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 to 1 lb piece of flank steak
- 2 tablespoons Za’atar (recipe to make your own below)
- sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
- Rub meat surface with olive oil and Za’atar on both sides. Let sit for 10 minutes while grill heats up. (You can also cook under oven broiler)
- Grill meat to your liking, but will be best if left pink inside. The meat will continue to cook after you remove it from the grill. Let meat rest while you make the salad.
- Brush peach wedges with olive oil and grill for about 3-4 minutes. Do not overcook. Remove from grill and set aside.
- Add thinly sliced red onions to the small bowl of olive oil-balsamic mixture. Toss onions to coat.
- Right before serving slice the flank steak very thin.
- Add arugula leaves to a large salad bowl. Top with onions, grilled peaches, steak, blue cheese and hazelnuts. Drizzle remaining olive oil-balsamic mixture or other dressing over salad and serve with additional salt and pepper.
Ingredients for Za’atar if you want to make your own: 4 tablespoons minced fresh thyme (or 3 of dried ground); 4 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, 4 teaspoons ground sumac, 1 teaspoon sea salt.
Directions for making Za’atar: Mix ingredients together in a small bowl. Store in a small jar with a tight-fitting lid. If using fresh thyme then store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.