Memorial Day is, for many, the start of grilling season. While local corn and tomatoes may be months away, the first baby greens, sturdy but tender enough to be eaten raw, are starting to show up at farmers' markets. When hungry guests arrive, make the most of the seasonal moment with some roasted or steamed new potatoes and this skirt steak salad.
Red miso, the salty, savory fermented soybean and barley paste, gives this dish a flavor boost, lending depth to the marinade and body to the vinaigrette. It also acts as a foil for the strong herbal and vegetal flavors in the salad, making the salad hearty enough to pair well with Cabernet Sauvignon. To guide your holiday weekend shopping, we've provided a list of 11 recently rated Cabernets from Chile, Washington and Argentina, below.
Red Miso-Marinated Skirt Steak Salad
For the steak:
• 1 1/2 to 2 pounds skirt steak, visible fat trimmed, cut into 4 pieces
• 3 tablespoons red miso
• 3 tablespoons mirin (rice wine)
• 1 tablespoon honey
• 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
• 2 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
• 2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Place the steak in a glass or ceramic dish or a zipper-sealed plastic bag. Whisk together the miso, mirin, honey, oil, garlic and shallots and pour the mixture over the steak, turning the meat to make sure that both sides are coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, and up to 6 hours, turning the meat once or twice during that time.
2. Heat the grill or broiler to medium-high heat. If using the broiler, place a rack about 4 to 6 inches from the heating element. Remove the meat from the fridge and let it come to room temperature. Brush off any visible pieces of garlic and shallot, and season the meat on both sides with salt and pepper. Cook for about three minutes per side for medium-rare. Remove from the heat and let rest 5 minutes before slicing, against the grain, into thin strips.
For the miso vinaigrette:
• 1/2 cup olive or vegetable oil
• 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
• 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 1 tablespoon red or white miso
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Whisk together the oil, vinegar, lemon juice and miso. Taste and season to your preference with salt and pepper, bearing in mind that miso is inherently salty.
For the salad:
• 1/2 pound sturdy mixed salad greens (such as baby kale, bok choi, mustard greens, mizuna, frisee and/or spinach)
• 6 whole roasted red peppers, each cut into three or four pieces
• 2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
• 1/4 cup whole cilantro or parsley leaves
• Cooked and sliced skirt steak (from above)
• Miso vinaigrette (from above)
Toss together the greens, peppers, shallots and herbs and arrange on a serving platter. Add the sliced steak and drizzle with the dressing. Serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.
RECOMMENDED CABERNET SAUVIGNONS
Note: The following list is a selection of outstanding and very good wines from recently rated releases. More wines can be found in our Wine Ratings Search.
DE MARTINO Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo Valley Legado Reserva 2011 Score: 92 | $17
This complex red unfurls with a lithe minerality, flanking the red berry, plum and dark cherry flavors. Notes of cedar and cigar provide richness. Offers a crisp texture, with a firm finish that lingers with slate and dark chocolate details. Drink now through 2019. 8,000 cases made. —K.M.
CONCHA Y TORO Cabernet Sauvignon Marchigue Serie Riberas Gran Reserva 2012 Score: 91 | $18
Complex and elegant, offering juicy red fruit and spice flavors, accented by some interesting pemmican notes. Sinewy midpalate, with graphite and white pepper accents. Anise and black olive hints enrich the finish. Drink now through 2017. 26,000 cases made. —K.M.
VIÑA MORANDÉ Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo Valley Gran Reserva 2011 Score: 90 | $18
A ripe, muscular red, with a core of dark plum, fig and black olive flavors, supported by an ironclad structure. Succulent midpalate, presenting dark chocolate and spice notes on the fresh finish. Drink now through 2018. 8,889 cases made. —K.M.
SEVEN FALLS Cabernet Sauvignon Wahluke Slope 2011 Score: 90 | $15
Supple, expressive and generous, with spicy blackberry, currant and licorice flavors, pouring into the harmonious and polished finish. Drink now through 2019. 37,500 cases made. —H.S.
VERAMONTE Cabernet Sauvignon Colchagua Valley 2012 Score: 89 | $12
A full-bodied red, with muscular flavors of dark plum, cherry and currant, supported by fresh acidity. Savory herbal notes emerge on the tight finish. Drink now through 2016. 15,000 cases made. —K.M.
BODEGA VISTALBA Malbec-Cabernet Sauvignon Mendoza Corte C 2012 Score: 89 | $18
Shows good balance to the crushed red plum and raspberry flavors, matched to firm mineral and graphite notes. The supple finish of chocolate and spice lingers with creamy accents. Drink now. 10,000 cases made. —K.M.
COUSIÑO-MACUL Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo Valley Don Matias Reserva 2012 Score: 88 | $14
A sinewy, muscular red, with crisp acidity to the dark currant, mint and black olive flavors. Well-structured, delivering notes of cast iron and smoke. Ends with a slate-filled finish, revealing some tarry accents. Drink now through 2017. 40,000 cases made. —K.M.
LOS VASCOS Cabernet Sauvignon Colchagua Grande Reserve 2011 Score: 88 | $20
Ripe and juicy, with dried blackberry and dark currant flavors, accented by black licorice notes. Offers a sinewy texture, delivering a rich finish of chocolate mousse and cream. Drink now. 100,000 cases made. —K.M.
VERAMONTE Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo Valley Primus 2012 Score: 88 | $20
Concentrated mocha and dried cherry flavors dominate this chewy red. Intense Asian spice notes merge with dark chocolate accents on the decadent finish. Drink now. 10,000 cases made. —K.M.
CANOE RIDGE Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills The Expedition 2012 Score: 87 | $17
Open-textured and inviting, with raspberry, red currant and clove flavors. Deft and expressive. Drink now. 12,500 cases made. —H.S.
CASAS DEL BOSQUE Cabernet Sauvignon Rapel Valley Reserva 2012 Score: 87 | $13
There's plenty of sinew to the dried beef, currant and cherry flavors, supported by firm tannins. Tobacco and cedar accents show on the supple finish. Drink now. 10,000 cases made. —K.M.