Rach updates the classic steak and salad combo with Middle Eastern flavors—za'atar (a smoky, tangy spice & herb blend) and tahini (sesame seed paste).
PRO TIP: "You can make the croutons and dressing ahead," Rach says. "Just seal the croutons tightly, and the dressing keeps in the fridge for a week."
Tahini Caesar Salad recipe from Rachael Ray 50: Memories and Meals from a Sweet and Savory Life by Rachael Ray. Copyright © 2019 by Rachael Ray. Used with permission by Ballantine Books. All rights reserved.
- About 3 tablespoons sumac
- About 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
- About 1 tablespoon Aleppo pepper or other mild-medium ground chili or flakes
- About 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- About 1 tablespoon dried dill
- About 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- About 2 teaspoons dried marjoram or oregano
- About 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
- 1 tablespoon each salt and black pepper
- 1 ½ to 2 pounds bavette, flap, flat iron or flank steaks, cut into 4 portions
- Kosher salt and coarse black pepper
- 2 tablespoons neutral oil
- 1 lemon, halved
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 3 cups cubed sesame semolina bread or similar
- ½ cup grated Romano
- ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 2 tablespoons za'atar seasoning
- About ½ cup tahini
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 lemons, juiced
- Black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- About 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (heads-up for vegetarians: Worcestershire sauce contains anchovies), optional
- About ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 cup grated Romano, loosely packed
- 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, loosely packed
- 1 large head romaine lettuce, coarsely chopped
- 1 bundle lacinato kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped
- 1 large head escarole, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup chopped parsley, dill and mint
Combine Za'atar spices in small container; this spice blend will make about 4 ounces and can be stored in an airtight jar or container for 3 months in the pantry.
Preheat cast-iron pan or grill over medium-high heat.
Season steaks with salt and pepper and cook 7 to 8 minutes, turning occasionally, in neutral oil. Let them rest and then slice against the grain. Char a halved lemon along with steaks and top sliced steak with juice.
Serve the Tahini Caesar Salad on a large board with the steak fanned alongside. Top steak with za'atar seasoning.
For the croutons, preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the EVOO, 3 turns of the pan. Melt the butter into the oil. When it foams, add the garlic and pepper and swirl for about 1 minute. Add the cubed bread and toss to coat. Transfer the croutons to the baking sheet. Sprinkle the cheese over the bread and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until deeply golden. Add the za'atar and toss while warm. Let cool. (The croutons will keep in an airtight container for 7 to 10 days.)
For the dressing, place the tahini in the bowl of a food processor along with the garlic, lemon juice, pepper, mustard, and Worcestershire, if using. Turn the processor on and stream in 1/3 cup water to thin the paste a bit, then stream in the EVOO to form the dressing. It should be thick but pourable. Add the cheeses and pulse a few times to combine.
For the salad, pile 10 to 12 cups of combined greens and herbs in a large bowl. Toss with enough dressing to coat generously. Top with the croutons and serve.