WHAT'S FOR DINNER?

Grilled Steak and Vegetable Salad with homemade balsamic dressing makes great use of any salad greens. The steak is rubbed with a mixture that includes ground coffee. But you can use your favorite seasonings or rub. The addition of cool and tangy blue cheese rounds out the dish. You can also use grilled chicken or fish or make it vegetarian with all vegetables.

GRILLED STEAK AND VEGETABLE SALAD

Makes four main-dish servings

STEAK

3/4 to 1-pound flat iron steak or favorite steak

1 tablespoon dark-roast ground coffee or espresso powder

1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons ground ancho chili powder

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

SALAD

6 cups mixed salad greens

1 red onion, cut into wedges and skewered

8 mini bell peppers, thread on skewers

2 small (6-inch) zucchini, washed, sliced on the diagonal Olive oil Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste

2 ounces reduced-fat or regular blue cheese

BALSAMIC-HERB VINAIGRETTE

5 tablespoons olive oil (a fruity one preferred)

2 tablespoons white or dark balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons finely chopped shallot

1 clove garlic, finely minced

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

1 teaspoon dried leaf Italian seasoning

1/4 teaspoon of sugar

Place the steak on a platter. In a small bowl mix together the coffee, sugar, chili pepper, paprika, salt and pepper. Rub both sides of the steak with the rub mixture. Set aside for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, wash and dry the salad greens and tear into bite-size pieces. Set aside.

Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Place the red onion, peppers and zucchini on a platter. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, whisk together all the dressing ingredients. Set aside.

When the grill is hot, oil the grates and heat another 5 minutes.

Place the steak on the hot part of the grill to sear it. Add the vegetables to a cooler side of the grill. After a few minutes, turn it at an angle if you want to get crosshatch marks. Grill a few minutes longer and then turn over and move the steak to a cooler part of the grill and finish grilling to desired degree of doneness. A whole steak should take about 15-18 minutes for medium-rare. Continue grilling the vegetables until they are tender.

Remove the steak from grill to a clean platter. Let rest about 5 minutes before slicing, against the grain, on a slight diagonal. Cut the peppers into pieces if desired.

On individual plates, place a generous 1 1/2 cups of the greens. Top with steak slices and vegetables. Drizzle with the dressing or pass it on the side. Top each with crumbled blue cheese.

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