If you haven't, I'll fill you in: our Senior Food Editor, Anna Stockwell, makes one of her recipes in her charming Brooklyn apartment each week on our Instagram stories. Her cats, Felix and Francis, make frequent cameos, so you can come for the food and stay for the cats. It's a great opportunity to see the recipe developer herself make the dish in her natural environment—you learn how to do it, right from the source. Plus, you get some great Brooklyn apartment porn and you get to be charmed by Anna (spoiler: she often wears inspirational patterned caftans). Everybody wins.
This week on At Home with Anna, Anna is making her Grilled Steak Panzanella Salad with Tomato Vinaigrette. If you don't know what panzanella is, it's a salad made largely of bread. Which is great news because everyone wants to be able to house a large quantity of bread while still being able to say they're eating salad. It's also a great way to transform the baguette that went stale on your counter into crispy, grill-charred, olive oil-laden goodness.
This salad has one more innovative trick up its sleeve: it uses the juice of super-ripe prime-time summer tomatoes as a central dressing component. Be sure to tune in to our Instagram, @epicurious, to follow along with Anna as she makes it. But, for now, here are all the tools you need to pull the recipe off:
The first step of the recipe asks you to whisk balsamic vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl to make the steak marinade. For that, you'll obviously need a whisk. You're in luck because we tested a whole bunch and found the very best one on the market (read more about that test here). Even if you already own one, it might be worth upgrading.
After you've whisked those marinade ingredients together, you'll add grated garlic to the party. The best way to grate garlic is with a rasp-style Microplane grater (just be sure to wear a cutting glove so you don't grate your fingertips). When we tested a variety of styles of graters (both rasp and box) we found that the standard Microplane is classic for a reason. With super sharp blades that produce feathery tufts of citrus zest and perfectly-shredded ginger, it's infinitely more effective than most other fine-grating blades on box graters, and does a much better job than most other handheld options. And its rounded edges can help you get into the nooks and crannies of a lemon, so you'll use this tool way beyond this recipe.
Reusable Silicone Bag
The recipe calls for you to put your steak and marinade in a plastic bag to let the protein soak up those flavors. But you want to use less plastic in the kitchen, right? Why not use a silicone bag instead? Here's a great one:
As I said above, a key to this recipe is salting tomatoes and letting them sit in a colander over a bowl so their juices can drip in. This will serve as a peak-summer dressing for your salad. While the steak is marinating, toss tomatoes with a teaspoon of kosher salt in a colander set over a large bowl and let it rest for an hour. Here's a great colander for the job:
You'll need this for two reasons: First, you'll place the colander over it and use it to catch all of those tomato drippings. Second, you'll use it to toss together all of the prepared ingredients and assemble your salad. We did a test of the best mixing bowls and found that Cuisinart Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls were well-balanced but not too weighty, with an attractive brushed stainless-steel surface and a rolled lip that’s comfortable and easy to grip.
Grill or Grill Pan
In an ideal world, you'll have a beautiful backyard with a manicured lawn and super comfy Adirondack chairs and an actual charcoal grill (stop bragging!). That's the dream scenario for making this salad. If you have the space to accommodate a grill, read our expert-selected review of the best grills, which includes gas and charcoal selections. Or just go for our favorite charcoal one, below.
But guess what? If you don't have outdoor space or a grill (Anna doesn't either!) you can totally still make this recipe. In the At Home with Anna episode, she uses a grill pan. Read more about why you need one here. Here's our favorite:
After you grill your steak, you'll let it rest before slicing it on a cutting board. In our review of the best cutting boards, we found that we liked the plastic OXO Good Grips board because, at 10.5-by-14.5 inches, it offers plenty of space but isn’t so large that cleaning and storage are made difficult. One side has grooves to catch drips, but the other doesn’t, so you can use that side if you need a completely flat surface. Silicone around the edges makes the board non-slip, and it's made from polypropylene, a non-porous material that yields a stain- and odor-resistant final product.
Originally Appeared on Epicurious