Simple, easy and delicious. This was inspired by one of my favorite chefs. The salad came from Food & Wine magazine by Chef Sean Brock. I added the flank steak and simplified the salad. You can find the original salad recipe here.
I grew up eating southern foods like black eyed peas, collard greens and cornbread. Sometimes I would mix them all together and I’d throw in some hot sauce and vinegar and mix them up. After seeing and tasting this salad, I think Chef Brock did the same. Like I’ve marveled before, I love how chefs like Sean Brock and Mike Lata (FIG) take traditional southern recipes and elevate the ingredients and the techniques. With that said, their recipes still taste like I ate growing up.
You could simplify this even further if you wanted by using Jiffy cornbread mix (ahh the horror). Just add the bacon and fat, use buttermilk and an extra egg white.
This meal was REAL good. The salad was awesome. The blacked eyed peas added the starch. The vinaigrette mellowed and balanced the spicy watercress. The tiny back end heat was noticeable though very delicate. There is a bite of acidity from the vinegar and lemon juice and don’t forget the cornbread which added the savory crunch. Just awesome. This salad could be eaten as a complete meal (leave out the bacon and fat for a veggie version), but…steak. Enjoy.
- 1 flank steak
- Salt and pepper
- 2 cans black eyed peas
- 1 bunch watercress (or other spicey green)
- 4 strips of bacon, chopped
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 cups medium grind yellow cornmeal
- 1 1/2 kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 1/3 cp olive oil
- 1/4 apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper (replace with paprika and cayenne)
- Chopped parsley
- Pinch of sugar
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce (whatever is your favorite)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 450°, add a 9 inch cast iron skillet and heat for 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, cook the bacon in a non stick pan. Once the bacon is crispy, remove and reserve the renderings.
- In a large bowl, mix cornmeal, salt, baking powder and baking soda. In a seperate bowl, mix the buttermilk, eggs and bacon renderings. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry and add the 1/2 the bacon.
- Add conola oil to coat the cast iron skillet and add the corn batter spreading evenly. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the cornbread is golden brown. Transfer to a cooling rack. Once cool, cube into 1/2 inch cubes and set aside.
- In a small bowl whisk olive oil, apple cider vinegar, chopped parsley, Aleppo pepper, sugar and season to taste.
- Add the black eyed peas to a mix bowl with the rest of the bacon, hot sauce and lemon juice and season. Add in some of the vinaigrette and set aside.
- Heat a grill pan (or non-stick pan will work) over medium-high heat. Season the steak with salt and pepper. When the pan is hot, sear the steak on both sides until desired downess. I prefer rare. Allow the steak to rest then slice the steak against the grain.
- Add watercress to the black eyed pea mixture and toss. Garnish with cornbread.