About the Recipe
Chef's notes: I've served this main course salad to family and friends for years, and it's still one of my most requested dishes. The creamy mozzarella against the rich beef and cool greens is such a pleasant contrast on the palate. Deep frying the basil tempers the herb, giving it a sweet, mild aroma that compliments the salad.
3 eight-ounce ribeye steaks
1/2 Cup olive oil
2 teaspoons coarse salt, divided
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 Cup vegetable oil (for frying basil)
1 bunch basil
4 Tablespoons salted butter
1/2 Cup balsamic vinegar
2 heads butter lettuce, washed and separated
4 roasted tomatoes
1 16-ounce log Crave Brothers Farmstead Classics Fresh Mozzarella cheese, sliced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1. Place steaks in a gallon sized zip top bag. Add the olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt, and the pepper. Slice the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the bag over the steaks. Seal bag and move steaks around to coat in the oil and seasonings.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
3. Set a saucepan over medium high heat. Pour in vegetable oil and bring oil up to 360 degrees. Drop in basil leaves and fry 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and set on a paper towel lined plate. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon sea salt. Set aside.
4. Place a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add butter and melt. Sear steaks for 2 minutes per side. Then, place the entire skillet into the oven for 4 to 6 minutes, until steaks are done to your liking. Remove and let rest.
5. Layer the butter lettuce, roasted tomatoes, and mozzarella onto each of six plates.
6. Pour the balsamic vinegar into a small sauce pan. Set over medium low heat and bring to a bare simmer. Swirl the pan and let vinegar reduce to a syrup consistency, then remove from heat.
7. Slice steaks against the grain and layer onto the salads. Top salads with the deep fried basil.
8. Use a spoon to drizzle the balsamic syrup over the salads. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and remaining sea salt before serving.