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emergence

Recipe: red bell pepper honey vinaigrette

I’m out of the cave. ‘Tis a good thing.

Back when we were in Crested Butte for the wildflower shoot, Jeremy and I got chased off Daisy Pass by thunderstorms. I don’t mind shooting in rainy weather, but high winds are a deal breaker. This stormy weather lasted for a few hours each afternoon, so we’d take the opportunity to roll into the town of Crested Butte and grab a bite. As I’ve mentioned before, we know the backcountry around Crested Butte better than the town itself because we’ve always driven through it rather than walked around in it. It wasn’t until last summer when we met up with my aunt’s family for dinner one evening (we were shooting, they were on vacay) that we had a meal in town.


prayer flags



The first stop was Secret Stash for some pizza and salad. We get this way when we’re spending a lot of time hiking and shooting – we crave fresh vegetables. You know what I love about mountain towns? You can look like complete hell and smell worse and it’s okay. I nearly fell asleep in my salad, but we still had another 5 hours of shooting.

gringo greek salad

they are famous for their pizzas



The second day we moseyed down the main drag to grab a bite and chose a place at random – McGill’s. It’s a nice place for lunch. We both opted for salads. Jeremy ordered a seared ahi tuna salad and I had the blackened grilled skirt steak salad. The dressing was so good that I asked if they shared their recipe and was told that they don’t. Really? Okay… it’s not like they don’t give half of it away in the name of the dressing: red bell pepper honey vinaigrette. As Jeremy settled up the tab, I tasted the dregs and identified the flavors and jotted them down on my iphone. Guess what I did when we got home?

we’ll start with red bell peppers

and some honey



It’s not hard to deconstruct these things, so that’s what I did. I’m not much of a recipe developer. I don’t have that kind of patience. Salad dressings are relatively simple though. I could do this. I used some of the honey I had leftover from a client’s shoot. Have you heard of Grampa’s Gourmet Honey? They are local here in Colorado and the honey products are as gorgeous as they are delightful.

that blender is getting a lot of use this summer

red wine vinegar



There is no hard and fast rule with this dressing. You adjust the ingredients to your liking and you’re done. I didn’t have fresh oregano on hand, so I went with the next best thing: my Mexican oregano from Savory Spice Shopbest spice shop in Boulder.

it really brings out the flavor

the froth dissipates eventually



Whisk in your olive oil and then season to taste with more salt, vinegar, honey, whatever you like. I tend to go light on the oil. I prefer more vegetable matter in my dressing than oil. When the dressing is done, serve it on a salad…

whisk in the oil



You probably wanna know what salad, huh? I tore up some heirloom lettuce and tossed them with tomatoes, red onions, Persian cucumbers, and topped the ensemble with some slices of blackened grilled flank steak. Boy, that is good. I had never blackened anything before aside from my own eye (I simultaneously opened a door and walked straight into it in junior high – nice).

mix the seasoning

coat the beef



It’s perfect for summer. Mix seasonings together, slap it on the beef and chuck it in the refrigerator for a few hours. Then grill it.

i love fire-meat season



Let the beef rest under a foil tent for five minutes. Slice the flank or skirt steak thin against the grain and set a few pieces on the salad. Serve with the red bell pepper honey vinaigrette. This is a pretty happy salad. It rocked my little world.

yes and yes



Red Bell Pepper Honey Vinaigrette
[print recipe]
inspired by McGill’s at Crested Butte

1 red bell pepper
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
2 tbsps honey
1/4 tsp oregano
pinch salt
1/4 – 1/2 cup olive oil

Wash, core, and de-seed the pepper. Slice into quarters or eighths and place in a blender with the red wine vinegar, honey, oregano and salt. Purée until smooth. It will look a little frothy. Don’t worry – it settles out. Pour the contents into a bowl and whisk a thin and steady stream of the olive oil into the purée until desired consistency/taste is reached. Tweek the dressing to your liking. Serve on something awesome… like a bed of greens and a few thin slices of blackened grilled flank steak.

Since you asked…

Blackened Grilled Flank Steak
from here

1 tbsp garlic powder
2 tsps ground cumin
2 tsps hot paprika
2 tsps dried oregano
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground red pepper
1.5 -2 lbs flank steak

Mix all of the spices together in a bowl. Rub the mix over the steak and let it sit in the refrigerator for 3 hours. Grill that sucker to desired doneness (I prefer rare). Let rest under a foil tent for five minutes then slice and serve on a bed of greens with red bell pepper honey vinaigrette.

29 nibbles at “emergence”

  1. Serene says:

    I don’t know when I’ve seen a more perfect food post. Sincerely — breathtaking.

  2. Rosa says:

    Gorgeous food! I really like that bell pepper vinaigrette.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  3. Ruth Ann says:

    Looks yummy. Cool idea.

  4. Kath says:

    That is one beautiful salad! I bet it was better than McGill’s! Thanks for figuring out the vinaigrette.

  5. Lezel Safi says:

    Wow, that looks cool & spicy,awesome for this sweltering heat we are experiecing here in OK, thanks! We love the Stash ( the name always makes me giggle), we were there over the 4th & I ran the 1/3 marathon from gothic to crested butte & actually took the time in this race to take in my breath-taking (On more than 1 level since we drove in from the ultimate flat lands the day before!) surroundings & scenery….didn’t try mcgills but will next time for a bite of lunch for the salads, thanks! And this will be n our dinner menu next week!

  6. Stephane says:

    Lacking words to better articulate the feeling: I echo Serene’s statement. Absolutely perfect! Thank you.

  7. DessertForTwo says:

    This looks great! It satisfies my need for a veggie and my honey’s need for all things beef at the same time! Thanks for sharin’ :)

  8. JelliDonut says:

    I am making that dressing TONIGHT! Many thanks.

  9. Fiona says:

    I love everything about this (except the red onions, but that’s no problem). And I especially love that when the restaurant said no, you were all, “suck it, whigs!” Good for you. And for us!

  10. Linda says:

    I’m a once or twice a year beef eater, but I think this just might be the moment. Looks delish!

  11. Steve says:

    Sounds like a perfect summer meal! We can’t have a grill at the apartment we live in. Sad, I know. Do you think it would be best to cook the flank steak in a cast iron pan or a grill pan?

    Thanks for the recipe and pics!

  12. Wei Wei says:

    Amazing. I love that you were able to know what was in the dressing by just tasting it. Great dressing detectiveness going on right there! Your salad looks incredibly yummy with that blackened steak. :D

    Wei Wei

  13. Recipe for Delicious says:

    I admire your dressing determination. Glad it turned out. I have some flank steak in the freezer just begging to go in this salad. Thanks!

  14. renee says:

    Yum! I am going to have to make this one!

  15. melanie says:

    I want to eat that,right now!

  16. Nicola says:

    I’ll bet the dressing would be even better – with deeper flavour – if you chargrilled the capsicum (red pepper) first! it becomes so much sweeter, richer and rounder. Just a thought. As always, exquisite photos.

  17. Chocolate and Toast says:

    My brain just said – Beef, It’s What’s For Dinner – in a big, booming voice. This is what your posts do to me!

  18. Dining and Decor says:

    I just stumbled on your site. Love your blog and your photography is awesome!

  19. Keeley says:

    I’ll be making this salad dressing. I normally use roasted red peppers, this is a nice change.

  20. Alexandra says:

    Oooooooh, that beef shot is incroyable. MMM

  21. TheKitchenWitch says:

    Ah, my resourceful friend! Of course you came up with the recipe–I’d expect nothing less of you! Can’t wait to see the pics from Butte!

  22. Lucie says:

    Wow–this looks like a perfect dressing! I’ve never thought of using red bell peppers in dressing, but just imagining it paired with the honey is making me hungry!

  23. Joy says:

    Love, love that vinaigrette. It looks so lovely on that salad. I can’t wait to try this.

  24. jenyu says:

    Fiona – I’m also not a fan of the red onion, but it makes the salad pretty and if I slice it thin enough, I don’t notice it as much (Jeremy picks them out and puts them on my plate).

    Steve – oh yes! Just oil the grill pan or cast iron pan (both work) and pan fry the steak. Should be lovely :) Also – congrats! You guys must be married now, right? :)

    Nicola – great suggestion. I haven’t tried that, but I actually like the fresh taste of the raw red bell (even though I love roasted red bells too). It’s bright and really refreshing.

  25. Elizabeth says:

    Wow that steak looks good. You just don’t see flank steak being used enough. I can’t speak for the rest of my family, but I love steak on salad…yum!

  26. Steve says:

    Hey Jen! Yep, happily married for two months tomorrow. :-) Thanks for the congrats! I didn’t get a chance to make this awesome dish yet, but I’ll be whipping it up this weekend.

  27. Recipe: Red Bell Pepper Honey Vinaigrette says:

    [...] is also the official photographer for Grampa’s Gourmet Honeys) recently posted a recipe for a Red Bell Pepper Honey Vinaigrette.  She used our Clover Honey in the recipe, and as always took lots of gorgeous [...]

  28. Ken D Berry MD says:

    Beautiful recipe! Don’t forget to cook it in a big beautiful cast-iron skillet to give it more character and to double the healthy iron content of the meal!

  29. Flashback Friday and Fashion Friday? | My Bizzy Kitchen says:

    [...] some flank steak from the freezer.  I typed in “flank steak” and found a picture for a grilled flank steak salad with red bell pepper honey vinaigrette.  I knew I had all the ingredients at home already, so I was sold.  The only differences was [...]

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