During the long PNW summer days, our favorite cooking method is outdoor grilling. Cut from the chuck (shoulder), the blade steak has excellent marbling and is flavorful and tender. A line of gristle runs down the center, so it’s important not to overcook it, otherwise it will get chewy. If you use an instant-read meat thermometer and are attentive, you’ll fall in love with blade steak. In this recipe, we prepare the steak with a Shawarma spice dry rub a day in advance. Since you can prepare the rest of the meal ahead, you only need to grill the steak and bread and assemble the plates when it’s time to eat. If you can, enjoy the meal with a glass of your favorite wine, a few friends and the rich light of a long summer evening.
2 Tbsp Shawarma Spice Blend, ground (available at worldspice.com)
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp kosher salt
1½ lbs top blade steak (or sub flat-iron steak)
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 head cauliflower
2 bunches scallions, ½-inch slice
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tsp garlic, finely chopped, divided
½ cup tahini
½ cup water
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp pomegranate molasses
1 Tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
¼ cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
2 cups Greek yogurt (preferably low-fat)
1 English cucumber, finely diced
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp lime juice
4 cloves garlic, finely diced
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp white pepper, ground
1 Macrina Greek Olive Loaf, sliced ½-inch thick (8 slices)
Combine the dry ingredients. Rub the mix into both sides of the meat. Drizzle with olive oil and use your fingers to rub it over the meat. Place the meat in a covered container and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Halve the cauliflower and remove the core; coarsely chop or break it into 1 to 2-inch florets. Place the florets in a large bowl and toss with the scallions, olive oil and 2 tsp garlic. Spread the florets on the prepared baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until tender. Let cool.
In the same large bowl, add the remaining 1 tsp garlic, tahini, water, lemon juice and pomegranate molasses. Whisk to combine.
Add the roasted cauliflower, mint and cilantro to the dressing. Toss well.
If you wish, season to taste with salt and pepper. Once dressed, allow the salad to rest at room temperature to marry flavors before serving.
In a separate bowl, add the yogurt, cucumber, olive oil, lime juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine. Refrigerate until needed.
GRILLING THE STEAK
Preheat your grill to 500°F. Brush a bit of oil on the hot grill to help prevent the spice rub from sticking.
Grill the blade steak for 5 to 6 minutes on each side. Use an instant-read meat thermometer to monitor the temperature. Remove the steak from the grill at 130°F for medium-rare. Let the steak rest for 5 minutes, then slice thinly.
While the steak is resting, grill the bread. Brush both sides of each slice with olive oil and grill until lightly toasted and marked with grill lines. Place 2 slices on each plate. Divide the cauliflower salad among the plates, top each with a portion of the sliced steak and a generous dollop of tzatziki. Enjoy!