Years ago, while vacationing in Arizona with friends, a side trip took us to the ranch lands of Sonoita in southern Arizona. We had an amazing dinner at a little cafe that included delicious local foods and wine. Our friend ordered a very fun dish called “Cattle in the Pasture” – seared steak, thinly sliced and piled on a bed of fresh greens. I loved the name and the concept and adopted my own version for entertaining friends and family.
Fast forward to last weekend when I was helping a friend in his booth at the Artisan Marketplace (food and art show) in Indianapolis. The creator and owner of Best Boy & Co (bestboyandco.com), he creates gourmet dessert sauces, barbecue sauces and dry spice rubs. When he let me smell his “Java-Nib” spice rub, with espresso and ground cocoa nibs, I immediately said “Cattle in the Pasture!”
On the way home from the show, I picked up some sirloin, greens and veggies from Trader Joe’s and created this delicious meal. This is how I did it, but as always, you can be creative and use your favorite combination of greens and veggies. I rounded out the salad with roasted veggies using potatoes, fennel, sweet peppers and asparagus. Because it was not a good night to grill out, I seared the sirloin on a “grill pan” to get the nice grill marks and then finished in the hot oven.
Best Boy & Co Java-Nib Spice Rub
Red Grape Tomatoes, halved
Yellow Cherry Tomatoes, halved
Red Onion Rings (thinly sliced)
Balsamic Dressing – I have also used a good Caesar dressing or mustard vinaigrette
Fresh-grated Parmesan Cheese – feta or goat cheese is also delicious in this salad
Coat both sides of the steak with the Java-Nib rub and let sit for about 30 minutes. Heat grill or pan and brush with olive oil. Cook to desired degree of doneness and then keep warm and let “rest” for approximately 5 to 10 minutes to redistribute the juices.
Meanwhile, place the greens on a large platter or in a large shallow bowl. Add the avocado slices, tomatoes and red onion rings (or whatever else you choose to use). Slice the steak and place on top.
Drizzle with the balsamic dressing and sprinkle with cheese.