I don’t want to get into a whole thing about girly foods versus manly foods. As a woman, I do love my salads, dainty cheese tarts and chocolate. But not any more than I love big, beefy burgers, buffalo wings and nachos. Food is delicious and I will not take sides!
Even after all that, I have to say, this pasta salad is a manly salad. It’s hearty and bold and full of freshly grilled steak. It is not a side dish. It’s an aggressive, filling entree. The first time I made this, I tossed everything with a little vinaigrette and topped it with diced avocado and crumbled blue cheese. It was good, but it was missing something to tie it together.
I tried again, this time making a creamy dressing with the avocado and blue cheese and … success! The dressing pulled everything together like mayonnaise usually does. The rest of the ingredients – pasta, tomatoes, red onion and steak – completed the salad.
I loved it, Tom loved it. This is a salad for all the sexes.
Pasta Salad w/Steak & Blue Cheese Avocado Dressing
For the salad:
1 lb. macaroni pasta (I used whole wheat rigatoni)
2 large tomatoes, diced
1/2 red onion, finely diced
2 handfuls of arugula (or spinach)
2 lb. skirt steak
salt and pepper
For the dressing:
4 oz. blue cheese
1 avocado, skin and seed removed and discarded
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp. sherry vinegar
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup water
Start by making your dressing. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Set aside or refrigerate for up to 2 days.
Next, make the steak. Heat your grill to medium-high. Sprinkle the steak with a little salt and pepper on all sides, then grill for 3 – 4 minutes on each side. It’s done when the outside is slightly charred and the inside is still pink. Remove to a plate and let rest for a couple of minutes, then slice into bite-sized pieces.
While your steak is cooking, boil the pasta is salty water. Once it’s al dente, remove to a strainer and run cold water over the pasta to stop it cooking. Drain completely.
In a very large bowl, combine the pasta, tomato, onions, arugula and steak, pour the dressing over it and toss. Serve at room temperature.
Makes 4 – 6 main servings.