Peppery arugula, sweet bell peppers, and seared steak combine in this healthy, flavorful salad. It works great on its own as a light meal or as part of a brunch buffet.
What to buy: Agave nectar, also known as agave syrup, is available at health food stores and online. If you can’t find agave nectar, just substitute Rich Simple Syrup or a few teaspoons of granulated sugar.
Game plan: The flank steak, beans, and dressing can be made up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated in separate covered containers, so that you just have to throw everything together when ready to serve.
For a slacker solution, substitute canned beans and use a high-quality store-bought lime vinaigrette.
If you want to go outdoors with the steak, heat a grill to medium high (375°F) and grill uncovered for 8 minutes for medium rare. Read more about grilling.
1Combine the onion, lime juice, lime zest, agave nectar, garlic, and salt in a large, nonreactive bowl. Whisking continuously, add the oil in a thin stream until well blended. Season well with pepper and set aside.
For the steak:
1Blot both sides of the steak with paper towels, rub with the oil, and season generously with salt and pepper. Heat a large, heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium-high heat until hot, about 3 minutes.
2Add the steak and cook until browned, about 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium rare. Remove to a cutting board to rest before slicing, at least 5 minutes.
For the salad:
1Add the bell pepper, black beans, and black-eyed peas to the bowl of reserved dressing and toss to coat.
2Cut the flank steak against the grain into 1/8- to 1/4-inch-thick slices. Add the steak and arugula to the bowl and toss to evenly coat. Season well with salt and pepper.
Beverage pairing:M. Chapoutier Crozes-Hermitage Petite Ruche, France. The arugula adds a pepperiness to the dish, which can be paralleled with a peppery red wine, namely a Syrah from France’s northern Rhône. This one adds plum, blackberry, and wild herbs, which will provide complexity without overwhelming the salad.