Grilling Guru Recipe: Argentine-­American Steak Salad

Ernesto Uchimura of Plan Check shares his recipe
Uchimura salad

[From September 2012]

Jeeze-louise, summer just won’t quit! We took our sweaters out of storage weeks ago (and let our beach bods go a few weeks before that), and yet the warmth and glorious sunshine persist! Darn you Southern California! Well, we suppose we could make the best of the extended season by enjoying one last dinner salad alfresco. Plan Check’s Ernesto Uchimura—one of Los Angeles magazine’s “Chefs of the Year”—offers up a summery salad of pickled hearts of palm and fresh tomatoes that’s topped with a more  autumnal Argentine-style steak with chimichuri. It’s reason enough to stave off the solstice another few days.

Ingredients for Chimichurri Sauce:

1 bunch of parsley, chopped
½ tsp of oregano leaves, chopped
½ tsp of thyme leaves, chopped
½ tsp of crushed red pepper, chopped
¼ cup of red wine vinegar
¼ tsp of garlic, chopped
1 tsp of salt
1/8 cup of water
½ cup of blended oil


Mix all together and keep cold.

Ingredients for Steak:

2 lbs of skirt steak
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tbs honey
1 cup chimichurri sauce


Trim skirt steak of excess fat and silver skin. Mix all rest of ingredients, as well as the above mixture and toss with skirt steak. Marinate for 2 to 8 hours.

Ingredients for Fresh Tomato Dressing:

2 garlic cloves
4 oz of heirloom tomatoes, peeled
2 tsp of sugar
1 tbs of white vinegar
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of pepper
2 basil leaves
1 ½ cups vegetable oil


Take first 6 ingredients and blend them together in the blender. Emulsify oil in and adjust seasoning as needed.

Ingredients for Pickled Hearts of Palm:

2 lbs fresh hearts of palm
Zest and juice of 3 lemons
2 qt of white wine vinegar
2 qt of water
¾ cup of white sugar
½ cup of kosher salt
2 Serrano chiles, halved
2 bunches of parsley


In a stainless steel pot add vinegar, water, sugar, salt, Serrano chiles, and bring them to a boil. When boiling, add hearts of palm and turn down to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add parsley. Let cool down to room temperature, cover, and then refrigerate.

Final Directions:

Wipe off marinade from skirt steak, season with salt and pepper, and grill to desired temperature. Slice the hearts of palm about a ½ inch thick. In a bowl, combine by volume equal parts peppercress and hearts of palm. Add enough fresh tomato dressing to lightly coat the ingredients. Shave into the bowl some Parmigiano Reggiano and lightly toss. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Plate the mix and then top with the sliced skirt steak. Garnish the plate with fresh tomato dressing, chimichurri sauce, halved baby heirloom tomatoes and shaved parmesan.