Steak & Veggie Gorgonzola Pasta Salad


for the steak:
1 1/4 lb flank steak
2 tablespoons chimichurri spice mix
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 serrano pepper, minced
1 shallot, diced
1 radish, minced

for the salad:
1 lb cooked small pasta (I used cavatappi)
1 bulb fennel, diced
5 red radishes, sliced and quartered
4 baby cucumbers, diced
1/2 cup diced yellow carrots
1/4 cup diced green onion
1 cubanelle pepper, small dice
1 lb mixed heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
3-4 oz crumbled gorgonzola
1/4 lb large green olives that were packed in oil with chile flakes, sliced*

for the dressing:
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoons Dijon

Marinate the steak with the chimichurri mix, shallot, radish, pepper and vinegar for at least 1 hour and up to overnight. Preheat oven to 400. Heat a cast iron skillet or other oven-safe skillet. Sear each side for 1-2 minutes. Finish in oven for 3-5 minutes or until desired doneness is reached. Remove to cutting board and tent with foil. Allow to sit a couple of minutes before slicing. Slice thinly then cut into bite-sized pieces and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, toss together the other salad ingredients. Add the steak when cool. Whisk together the dressing in a small bowl. Toss with salad

*I get these at my local Italian store but any place with a large selection of olives should have them. They are worth seeking out!

My thoughts:

I love one bowl meals and of those, pasta salads top my list. They are easy to make (just lots of chopping), crowd-pleasing and can be made of pretty much anything you throw at them. This one started with a flank steak I had planned to grill until weather got in the way and the discovery of a huge bulb of fennel in the crisper. I ended up throwing in a lot more items from that crisper and ended up with a vaguely Italian pasta salad that is robust tasting and packed full of veggies. I love how the steak, Gorgonzola, olives and fennel came together to form the base of the flavor and the cucumbers, carrots, pepper and radishes added crunch.  Perfect for dinner, lunch or a potluck, it travels well and was even good the next day!

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