Carne Asada Salad

Makes 4 servings

Don't worry. The ingredient list is long, but this Mexican salad is easy to make. For a speedier version, buy marinated carne asada which is available at Mexican speciality markets and most major supermarkets. You can also use bottled salsa in place of the homemade pico de gallo.

Steak and Marinade:
1 1/2 pounds flank steak
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
Several shakes of salt
The juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup olive oil

Pico de Gallo:
4 plum or 2 medium regular tomatoes, diced
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 small jalapeno, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
The juice of 1/2 lime
Several shakes of salt

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
The juice of 1 lime
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Several shakes of salt

1 large head Romaine lettuce, chopped
1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 cup chopped jicama

Serve with any of the following:
Sliced red onions, sliced ripe avocado sprinkled with lime, roasted pepita or sunflower seeds, toasted tortilla strips, shredded Cheddar cheese, crumbled Mexican cotija cheese, sour cream

1. In a small bowl, combine marinade ingredients. Place steak in a Ziploc bag or tightly covered dish and cover with marinade, turning until coated. Marinate in refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour or up to 4 hours.

2. For the pico de gallo, combine all ingredients in a small bowl; toss well and set aside. The earlier you make this, the more flavorful it will be.

3. For the vinaigrette, whisk all ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. For the salad, combine all ingredients in a large bowl.

4. Before cooking the steak, let it rest on the counter for 10 minutes. Preheat grill to medium-high. If you don't have a grill, then use a grill pan on the stovetop or other large, heavy bottomed pan over high heat. Grill the steak for 2 to 3 minutes per side, until charred on the outside yet still pink and tender on the inside. Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing against the grain.

5. To assemble: Pour vinaigrette over salad and toss well. Divide evenly among four plates. Top each with 1/4 of the steak and 1/4 of the pico de gallo and any other toppings of your choice. Serve immediately.

Recipe created by Susan Russo of Food Blogga.