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Flank Steak with Cherry Salsa and Brown Rice

1 protein – 1 fruit – 1 vegetable – 1 starch

Did anyone else have an issue with eating cherries after seeing the movie “The Witches of Eastwick”? I did. In fact, I think it was 10 years before I could eat cherries, which was so sad for me because, on flavor alone, cherries are probably my favorite fruit. If I’m at the dentist and cherry is a flavor option for the fluoride treatment, I’m all over it.

Considering their tiny size, cherries pack quite a nutritional punch. Cherries contain anthocyanins, which are antioxidants and used by the body to produce amino acids. Anthocyanins are also natural pain relievers, anti-inflammatories and are believed to reduce the risk of many types of cancer. Cherries also contain melatonin, are rich in vitamin C and are a great source of fiber. The only problem? The growing season for cherries is short, so hurry up and grab some before they disappear!

I have a simple (though slightly messy) technique for pitting cherries. After rinsing and removing the stems, I place my cherries on a cutting board. Then, using the flat side of a knife, I gently press down on the cherry until it pops open. Once smashed, I can easily remove the pit and chop.

If you make the cherry salsa in advance, refrigerate until serving time, but let it come to room temperature before serving. The flavors will be at their brightest. Making the salsa ahead of time makes this a great dish for company, since all you have to do is throw your steak on the grill. The simple but unique flavor of the salsa is sure to be a hit at your next backyard barbecue this summer.

–Kim K.

Ingredients

  • 18 dark sweet cherries, pitted and chopped
  • 2 tsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly grated lime zest
  • 10 green onions, chopped and divided
  • 1 tsp. jalapeño, seeds and veins removed and finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 8 oz. flank steak, trimmed
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. Morton® Lite Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 C. brown rice, cooked

Prepare grill to high heat.

Reserve about 2 tablespoons of green onions. In a bowl stir together cherries, lime juice, zest, remaining green onions, jalapeño and cilantro. Set aside. Drizzle olive oil over steak on both sides and rub into meat with fingers. Season steak with salt, pepper and chili powder.

Add steak to prepared grill and cook for 3-5 minutes on each side or until desired doneness. Remove steak from grill and let rest for 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, add reserved green onions to hot rice and fluff with a fork to combine.

Slice steak into very thin slices, against the grain of the meat, and arrange on plates. Serve with rice and cherry salsa. If desired, serve a grilled corn tortilla on the side (can be an alternative to the rice). Be sure to count the appropriate number of starches.

Makes 2 servings