Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Grilled Steak & Vegetable Wild Rice Salad

Grilled Steak & Vegetable Wild Rice Salad

A hearty main dish salad of grilled steak, zucchini, mushrooms and peppers tossed with wild rice and topped with olives, artichoke hearts, and feta cheese.

If you've been on my FB page lately, you'll see evidence that my motto is Grill All The Things. I don't know if it's because I'm so stoked about having a decent grill or because I can't stand to see a hot cooking appliance (NOT in my kitchen) underutilized or what. I just know that I've been routinely grilling some vegetables, fruit, and perhaps a protein or a pizza each time I fire it up. I've learned how to get the propane tank refilled, and I'm really looking forward to playing once the summer bounty of the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share is arriving in my kitchen.

Grilling often means that I've got extra grilled stuff to use on the off days. Following that 'cook once, eat twice' philosophy, I've got a main dish spring salad to share with you today. This hearty salad is for the days when you've worked hard [weeding, pruning, mulching, planting, doing a marathon 5K instead of reading the Sunday paper--pick your reason for a hearty salad]. It's satisfying and can be customized to suit your tastes with optional toppings. I went with a Mediterranean theme because I'm sort of stuck on artichokes, olives and feta cheese these days.

A warm day followed by a cool evening is a great time for a filling salad such as this. We enjoyed it slightly warm, tossing all of the previously grilled items with hot rice. My daughter preferred the leftovers served at room temperature, with plenty of cheese.

For other recipes using mushrooms, please see my Mushroom Recipes Collection. For other recipes using Zucchini, please see my Zucchini Recipes Collection. These collections are part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. Want to know how to Use This Blog? Click here.

Grilled Steak & Vegetable Wild Rice Salad

olive oil (you'll need about ⅓ - ½ cup overall, a teaspoon here and a tablespoon there)
you will also need salt and pepper
1 cup wild rice blend (I got mine at Costco)
3 cups broth (I used beef stock, my recipe is here)
1 sirloin steak (or 2 cups cubed grilled steak)
3 small zucchini
½ pound button mushrooms
1 sweet red pepper
½ cup red onion, chopped
¼ vinaigrette of your choice, optional
to serve: green and kalamata olives, marinated artichoke hearts, crumbled feta cheese, chopped scallions

Make the rice: in a large saucepan (3 qt) over medium heat, preheat the oil. Stir in the rice and coat with fat. Add broth and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes until rice is cooked and the liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork before serving.

My grill instructions are using a gas grill. While the rice is cooking, preheat grill over high direct heat, and grab a grill basket [all about mine here] and preheat that too. Prep all the vegetables and meat so you can move from one item to the next without having to stop and prep again.

Season the steak with salt and pepper on both sides. Place on grill and grill for however long you need. Our steaks were about 1 inch thick and I grilled them 4 minutes per side. Set aside. Reduce heat to medium after steak is done. Cut steak into cubes after it's had a rest. You can grill the steak ahead of time and store in the refrigerator. Bring out when the rice is simmering, and the meat will have the chill off when you're ready to assemble.

Grill the vegetables: cut the zucchini in half lengthwise, then cut in half again. Cut each stick into cubes. Toss cubes with olive oil and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Throw in a grill basket, stirring every 5 minutes, until browned and tender. I grilled mine for about 10 minutes. Set aside. Wipe the mushrooms clean of debris, toss with oil (same bowl is fine), and season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Throw into the grill basket (no need to clean), cover and cook until browned and tender, stirring every 5 minutes. Once they give up their juice it's pretty quick, about 10 minutes. Set aside. Place the pepper on the grill and cover the grill. Turn every couple minutes until all sides have a bit of char. Let it cool a bit, then chop into small pieces. Set aside. You may grill the vegetables ahead of time and store in the refrigerator. Bring them out when the rice is simmering, and they will have the chill off when you're ready to assemble.

To assemble--in a large bowl [mine is inherited from my grandma-in-law and I say "How Do!" to it when I pull it out in memory of her cheerful greeting] dump fluffed rice, chopped vegetables, and steak cubes. Toss gently together. Pour a bit of vinaigrette over top if you like, and toss again.

If you're serving folks who love all of the components, add them all in and toss gently. Otherwise, have additional toppings set up for folks to add their own. [That's what we do in my house--olives, mushrooms and artichokes are left for the grown ups, though my son is dabbling with a white button mushroom now and again].

This post is shared with What's Cookin' Wednesday.


  1. I love the flavor combo you have going on here! What a beautiful, hearty salad!

    1. Ashley,
      I buy my artichokes and feta from Costco because I just go through so many it makes it worth it.

  2. Kirsten, I'm totally with you on this ingredient combination. We'll get your son there soon, but in the meantime, more olives and artichokes for us. Steak salads are the best way to beat the heat in the summer and still have cooked meat.

    1. Laura,
      I used to be in a rush for the kids to develop a taste for more than apple slices and carrot sticks, but then our multiple days of Chicken Korma turned into one night's worth because the kids ate it all. I'm happy to keep all the olives and artichokes for the grown ups!

  3. I want to be stuck on artichokes, olives and feta cheese with you. This salad is beautiful and I need to get my grill going again soon.

    1. Meghan,
      Oh, the Veggies I've Grilled! Green beans and zucchini just the other day, as well as b'nut squash and shrooms and peppers and onions oh, my.
      I'm really having a good time with the grill.