If regular Italian--or Genovese--basil is all you can find, it'll work fine. However, it's worth searching out a few varieties, such as purple, Thai, or lemon basil. Using a mix of varieties improves the salad by adding visual interest and nuanced flavors. If you can't find hanger steak, substitute flank instead.
1 tablespoon canola oil
12 ounces hanger steak, trimmed
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons minced fresh lemongrass
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
2 teaspoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons chile paste (such as Huy Fong sambal oelek)
1 1/2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1 cup thinly sliced English cucumber
3 large ripe heirloom tomatoes, cut into wedges
2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 425°.
Heat a large ovenproof stainless-steel skillet over medium-high heat. Add canola oil to pan; swirl to coat. Sprinkle both sides of steak evenly with salt and black pepper. Add steak to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until browned. Turn steak over. Bake at 425° for 8 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into thickest portion of steak registers 135° or until desired degree of doneness. Remove steak from pan; let stand 10 minutes. Slice across the grain.
Combine soy sauce and next 5 ingredients (through sambal), stirring well. Combine basil and remaining ingredients. Drizzle dressing mixture over basil mixture; toss gently. Divide salad mixture evenly among 4 plates; divide beef evenly among salads.
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Sooo good! I've never cooked hanger steak, but I followed the directions (used a meat thermometer to get it to 135 degrees) and it came out perfectly. The dressing was awesome. The one thing we changed was instead of using all basil leaves for the salad, we used salad mix and put some basil on top. It's going on The List!
My husband loves this! I think it's because he doesn't have to fire up the grill.We think the salad is really spicy-I followed the recipe exactly. The colors are beautiful. The recipe inspires me to grow some different types of basil in pots on the deck or walk to the nearby Farmer's Market for heirloom tomatoes. What a great light dinner on a summer evening. It would be great for a late lunch with a bottle of fine wine and some crusty bread.
Using purple and green basil makes such a pretty presentation. I'll use red and yellow tomatoes next time to add even more color. I look forward to making good use of my basil and farmer's market tomatoes with this one!