Churrasco with Avocado-Chimichurri Sauce and Mexican Cesar Salad
When I left home for college, my family gave me a collection of recipes to take with me. It was a touching gift; each member handwrote their favorite recipes on pieces of paper and put them in protective sleeves. Each recipe reminded me of the person and the meals we’ve shared over the years. Whenever I’m craving a dish from my childhood, I go to that folder and cook something from it. It goes to show that the best gifts come from the heart.
Today, I want to share with you, one of those recipes: my Aunt Andy’s Mexican Cesar salad. This salad looks plain—romaine lettuce coated in a dressing—but, don’t let the appearance fool you; it’s one of the most flavorful salads ever. The secret is the dressing, which draws on the flavors of Mexico—queso fresco, pumpkin seeds, chile peppers, cilantro, and garlic.
You begin by roasting Anaheim peppers (follow the step-by-step guide to roasting peppers here). These mild peppers add a touch of heat and smokiness to the dressing. The queso fresco and roasted pumpkin seeds provide saltiness, while the cilantro adds a burst of freshness; red wine vinegar gives the dressing a touch of acidity and mayo adds creaminess. Once the peppers are roasted, the dressing comes together fast. Just add all the ingredient to a food processor, blend and it’s done. Toss the dressing with chopped romaine lettuce and your salad is ready to eat.
Lately, I’ve been serving this salad with churrasco (grilled flank steak) with an avocado-chimichurri sauce. The bold and tangy sauce cuts through the richness of the grilled meat. I love adding avocados to the chimichurri sauce. You can never have too many, right?
The food processor is the workhorse for this meal; you use it to make both the Mexican Cesar salad dressing and the chimichurri sauce. It’s a real-time saver and helps blend the ingredients beautifully. However, I like to dice the avocados by hand, so they retain their texture and shape, and stir them into the chimichurri sauce. It gives the sauce a nice body.
Churrasco Flank Steak with Avocado-Chimichurri Sauce and Mexican Cesar Salad
The Mexican Cesar salad and the churrasco with avocado-chimichurri sauce makes for a delicious meal packed with Latin-American flavors. Add this tres leches cake for dessert and you have the perfect end to a wonderful meal. Enjoy!
Mexican Cesar Salad
|Serves||Yields 2 cups of salad dressing|
- chopped romaine lettuce
Mexican Cesar Salad Dressing
- 6 cloves garlic (peeled)
- 1/2 cup roasted, salted pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup mayo
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 6 roasted Anaheim peppers
- 3 ounces queso fresco
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons water
This recipe yields two cups of dressing. Spoon it over chopped romaine lettuce as needed. Store in the refrigerator.
|Combine all salad dressing ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.|
|Spoon dressing over chopped romaine lettuce. Toss to evenly distribute the dressing and serve.|
Churrasco with Avocado-Chimichurri Sauce
|Meal type||Main Dish|
|Website||slightly adapted from Joyful Healthy Eats|
- 2-3 lb flank steak
- salt and pepper to season the steak
- 3/4 cup fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
- 1 garlic clove (peeled)
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 avocados
|Heat grill to medium high or 400°F.|
|Add cilantro, oregano, garlic, red wine vinegar, olive oil, lime juice, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper to a food processor and blend until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl.|
|Dice avocados and add them to chimichurri sauce. Stir gently to coat the avocados in the chimichurri sauce.|
|Season a room temperature flank steak with salt and pepper on both sides. Place steak on an oiled grill and cook for 4-6 minutes per side. Remove from grill, let steak rest for 2-3 minutes. Slice steak crosswise and top with avocado-chimichurri sauce.|