CRIMSON AFTERNOON STEAK WITH BLACKBERRIES
by Romney Steele
A meaty steak on a bed of hearty, leafy greens is the ideal match for racy blackberries in a vinaigrette. Make after a day of picking these late-summer beauties, when they are sun-kissed and leaching their gorgeous crimson dye all over your hands.
Serves 4 as a main dish, or more as part of a spread
• 2 teaspoons coriander seed, toasted
• 2 teaspoons pink peppercorns
• 2 (8-ounce) New York strip steaks
• Kosher salt
• 1/2 small red onion or 1 large shallot, finely diced
• 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
• 1½ cups blackberries
• 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
• 2 teaspoons thyme leaves
• 6 to 8 opal basil leaves, cut into chiffonade
• Aged balsamic vinegar
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 3 to 4 cups mixed leafy greens in a range of colors and texture, like shiso, spinach, arugula, and Lolla Rossa
Coarsely grind the coriander and peppercorns in a mortar and pestle. Sprinkle on both sides of each steak and season with kosher salt. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before grilling.
Meanwhile, fire up the outdoor grill to medium heat (or use a grill pan on the stove) and make the blackberry dressing.
Cover the onion with the wine vinegar in a medium bowl and let sit for about 5 minutes to soften the flavors. Add 1/2 cup of the blackberries to the onion and gently crush with a fork, dispersing the rich color and juice. Whisk in the olive oil, thyme, basil, and a touch of balsamic vinegar to finish. You may want to add a tablespoon or so of water to round out the flavors and loosen the vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper.
Grill the steaks to desired doneness, 4 to 6 minutes per side for medium-rare, depending on thickness. Transfer to a board, loosely tent with foil, and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Thinly slice across the grain.
Place the salad greens on a platter or individual plates and top with the steak slices. Drizzle the dressing over the top and scatter with the remaining 1 cup blackberries.