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My husband and I just got back from a pretty amazing “glamping” trip where we visited historic hotels, ranches, natural hot springs, cabins, and wilderness areas in Eastern Oregon, Northern Nevada, and Western Idaho. It was such a fun trip! I am talking Epic!!
One of the coolest places we stayed was in an off-the-grid Forest Service Cabin we rented for 2 nights in the Blue Mountains in NE Oregon. The cabin came with a propane powered kitchen, kitchen utensils, indoor and outdoor picnic tables, and beds with mattresses. We just had to bring the food and sleeping bags. We also were sure to pack some wine, as wine goes so great with grilled steaks! I found the Cabernet Sauvignon from Woodbridge in these cute little “stackable” single serve wine glasses to be a great pairing for our dinner. I love these single serve glasses, as they don’t require a corkscrew to get into them, and a corkscrew is something we’ve accidentally left home without more than once.
Making this dressing is super easy. Just blend it ahead of time, before leaving for your big trip, as it stores well for 7 to 10 days in an airtight jar in the fridge. I simply blend the dried cherries with avocado oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, a little maple syrup, mustard, sea salt, and water. If using fresh cherries, you can omit the added water. The combo of this dressing, with the Cabernet Sauvignon and grilled grass-fed steaks was as magical as our night spent watching the sunset and the moon rise.
During the day, we explored little dirt roads and trails along the top of the ridgeline of the Blue Mountains. We had fun picking wild berries, watching for wildlife, and hunting for other wild edible plants.
When traveling to places that don’t have water on hand for washing dishes, I love to bring along these compostable dinner plates, which we can easily compost in our garden when we return home.
Steak Salad with Dark Cherry Balsamic Dressing
- 4 grass-fed NY steaks
- salad greens 4 servings
- 1/2 sliced red onion
- 1 small avocado sliced
- 1/4 cup dried cherries chopped
- garnish: edible wildflowers
- 1 batch Dark Cherry Balsamic Dressing
- Dark Cherry Balsamic Dressing:
- 1/4 cup dried cherries see notes for fresh cherries
- 1/4 cup to 1/2 water
- 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil or avocado oil
- pinch sea salt
- few drops liquid smoke or use smoked sea salt
- 1 clove small
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard
- teaspoon optional: 1 maple syrup
- in For AIP: omit mustard use smoked sea salt place of liquid smoke
First make the salad dressing by blending the dark cherry balsamic dressing ingredients together. Start with 1/4 cup water, and add a little more water as needed until you reach desired thickness and creaminess.
Prepare salad greens, and slice onions and avocado. Chop additional dried cherries.
Rub steaks with olive oil and sea salt and let sit out for 30 minutes. (To keep my hands clean when camping, I pour the olive oil into a casserole dish with the steaks, sprinkle on the sea salt, and use a fork to turn the steaks over and cover in oil.)
Heat up the grill.
When grill is hot, add steaks, then close grill cover. Cook time will vary depending on how thick your steaks are. For 3/4 inch steaks done medium, I cook the steaks 5 minutes on the first side, then flip for another 3 to 7 minutes, depending on how you'd like the steaks cooked. For medium you want to reach an internal temp of 140*F (130*F for medium rare). Then remove steaks from heat and rest on a plate with a foil "tent" to keep heat in for another 5 minutes.
Slice steaks and serve over salad greens with onions, avocado, dried cherries, edible flowers, and drizzle the cherry balsamic dressing over top. Serve with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon.
If using fresh cherries, sub 1 cup pitted fresh cherries for 1/4 cup dried cherries, and omit added water.
What was one of your most memorable summer vacations?
Was there a fantastic glass of wine involved? Or a delicious meal?
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