Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Seared Steak with Arugula and Spinach

Seared Steak with Arugula and Spinach
Fresh herbs, balsamic vinegar, and lemon juice liven up this simple summer supper

As summer approaches, we want easy, satisfying meals with bold flavor. Steak with salad is a classic favorite. So why not combine the two in one dish?

Add a tasty starter and a luscious dessert, and you have a terrific company meal. Oh, and don’t forget to add a nice bottle of red to your shopping list.

Your guests are worth it. 

Seared Steak with Arugula and Spinach
Recipe: Seared Steak with Arugula and Spinach

We’ve seen numerous versions of this dish over the years. Our recipe was inspired by one from New York chef Michael Romano.

The vinaigrette for the salad includes herb-infused extra-virgin olive oil. We use rosemary, but thyme would also be a good choice.

Prep time for this dish (including infusing the olive oil) is about 30 minutes. Cooking time for the steak is 8 to 12 minutes, depending on how thick the steak is and how well done you prefer the meat to be.

This recipe serves 4, but it’s easy to scale up or down.

Ingredients

For the vinaigrette:

  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons rosemary leaves, finely chopped (or other herb of choice)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • a few pinches of kosher salt (to taste; about ¼ teaspoon for us – see Notes)
  • several grinds of black pepper (maybe half a dozen)

For the steak and greens (and finishing the dish):

  • 1 to 1½ pounds strip or ribeye steak, removed from refrigerator at least 30 minutes before cooking (see Notes)
  • kosher salt to taste (about ½ teaspoon; see Notes)
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste (a dozen grinds or more)
  • ~1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 5 to 6 cups arugula and spinach, washed and dried (about 5 ounces; see Notes)
  • lemon slices for garnish (optional)

Procedure

  1. Make the vinaigrette: Pour the olive oil into a small saucepan, then add the chopped rosemary. Bring the oil to a simmer. Let it simmer for a minute or two, then remove it from the heat. Allow the infused oil to rest until it cools (10 minutes or so). Then strain the infused oil through a sieve (we sometimes reserve the chopped rosemary and use it to finish the dish). Add the cooled oil to a small jar, along with the balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Cap the jar tightly, then shake it vigorously to combine the ingredients. Set aside.
  2. When ready to finish the dish: Preheat the oven to 400° F. Dry the steak with paper towels and cut off any excess fat. Season to taste with salt and black pepper (we often do this 30 to 60 minutes before cooking; see Notes). Place a heavy ovenproof frying pan over medium stovetop heat (use one just large enough to hold the steak comfortably). When the frying pan is hot, add the cooking oil and quickly swirl it around to coat the pan. Add the steak, then let it sear for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the steak, then place the frying pan in the oven. Cook until the steak is done to your liking (see Notes).
  3. Remove the frying pan from the oven. Use tongs to transfer the steak to a cutting board. Let the steak rest for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the arugula and spinach to a large bowl. Add about ¾ of the vinaigrette, then toss until the greens are well coated. Divide the greens onto 4 serving plates.
  5. Cut the steak into thin slices (use a sharp knife). Arrange the steak slices on top of the salad greens. Drizzle some of the remaining vinaigrette over the steak slices, then add some of the reserved chopped rosemary from Step 1 (optional). Garnish each plate with a lemon slice, if you wish, and serve.
Seared Steak with Arugula and Spinach

Notes

  • We sometimes make this dish with all arugula or all spinach. But it’s best with both, we think. BTW, we don’t bother to stem the greens when we make this dish. Though you can do so if you prefer.
  • You can make the vinaigrette hours ahead of time, then refrigerate it in an airtight container until ready to use. If you go this route, let the vinaigrette warm to room temperature before using (remove it from the refrigerator at least an hour ahead of time). We remove the washed salad greens from the fridge at the same time so they can also warm up a bit. 
  • We also remove the steak from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes before cooking. When we remove the steak, we pat it dry, then season both sides with salt and pepper (though if you prefer, you can season it right before cooking).
  • You can make this dish with any cut of steak you like – from skirt steak to porterhouse. We like to use steak that’s at least an inch thick (1½ inches is better). We find that 4 to 6 ounces of steak per serving is sufficient for this dish. But adjust serving sizes to your preference.
  • For this recipe, we like to buy one large steak, then cut it into slices. We start the steak on top of the stove and cook it until the first side is nicely seared (2 to 3 minutes). Then we flip it and put the steak in the oven to finish cooking. We use an instant-read thermometer to determine when the steak is done. We often pull the steak from the oven when the thermometer reads 5 degrees less than the desired temperature (the steak will continue to “cook” as it sits and firms up).
  • How well done do you like your steak? Rare steak (coolish red center) is considered done when it reaches an internal temperature of 125° F (so remove it from the oven at 120°). Medium rare (warm red center) is done at 135° F (remove at 130°). Medium (slight pink center) is done at 150° F (remove at 145°). Well done (no pink center, or maybe just a tinge) is done at 160° F (remove at 155°).
  • For this dish, we suggest cooking the steak to no more than medium.
  • If you prefer to grill the steak outside (we often do in the warmer months): Sear the steak on each side, then flip the steak several times during cooking until it reaches the temperature you prefer.
  • We find this dish filling enough as is. But you could also add some cubes of roasted or fried potatoes as “croutons.”
  • We like to use fresh rosemary for infusing the olive oil. But you can substitute almost any other fresh herb you fancy, or skip it altogether. You could also add some finely minced garlic to the vinaigrette if you like. Or minced shallot.
  • BTW, we sometimes add a dollop of Dijon mustard to the vinaigrette – it adds a nice hit of flavor.
  • We use kosher salt in cooking. It’s less salty by volume than regular table salt (the crystals are larger and more irregular, so they pack a measure less tightly). If you’re using table salt, start with about half the amount we suggest. But always season to your taste, not ours.

Seared Steak with Arugula and Spinach

High Steaks

“Perfect timing on this dish,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “Especially with Memorial Day weekend coming up. Lovely summer fare.”

“It’s good stuff,” I said. “Nothing meaty-ocre about this recipe.”

“Good dish, yes,” said Mrs K R. “But that joke? Mis-steaken.”

“Hey, I thought it was well done!” I said. “Fine steak jokes are rare, you know.”

“Be careful,” said Mrs K R. “This could turn into ground beef.”

Sigh. Skewered again.

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67 comments:

Anonymous said...

I’ve enjoyed this dish with added flavors from various cuisines. My favorite is the one often served in Thai restaurants. Now that I”ve vastly reduced my meat consumption, I miss dishes like this.

I have a comment on your instructions: the vinaigrette recipe you gave would keep very safely at room temperature for at least a day.

best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Mae, this is one of those dishes that is really easy to play with -- you can take this in so many different directions. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Terry at Blue Kitchen said...

John, this looks like a terrific summery dish. And I heartily agree about adding a "dollop of Dijon" to the dressing. Thanks for another great recipe!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Terry, Dijon really adds nice flavor to this. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Pam said...

Great combination of peppery arugula & perfectly cooked steak.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Pam, it's good stuff. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Abbe@This is How I Cook said...

Perfect. I need a beef dish to take to a friend and since I don't cook beef you really helped me out. Thanks John!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Abbe, your friend will love this! :-) Thanks for the comment.

Fran @ G'day Souffle said...

I like the pink color of your steak- just the way I like it! I find that the more you pay for a steak, the better it tastes. I'll pay $27 per lb. for a good Rib Eye which you could get for $19 per lb. at a supermarket. Some chefs (like Samin Nosrat) recommend salting the steak right before cooking so that the salt doesn't draw out the moisture beforehand. For me, cooking a steak results in 'trial and error'- sometimes I get an excellent steak and other times just OK!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Fran, we've gone back and forth on the salting right before cooking, or salting an hour or so before. The longer salting period is more of a "dry brine," which may actually add a bit more flavor. A bit. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Eha said...

As there is no real seasonal weather in my part of eastern Australia steak and salad provides a quick, tasty and healthy main meal thro8ghout the year. Rocket is a firm favourite here and can be bought mixed with baby spinach at all supermarkets. Love rosemary but have not oft used it in salad dressings . . . must remember :) ! And my steaks virtually moo on the plate if the meat is of good quality !!!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Eha, we often like beef that moos too. :-) Thanks for the comment.

HAPPY RETIREES KITCHEN said...

Your steak dish looks delicious and so beautifully presented KR. You have gone to so much trouble to serve steak, my rule of thumb for portion size for me is a piece that fits in the palm of my hand. We are reducing portion sizes for steak, that is unless I can splurge on a good T-Bone steak. Fun post, thanks.

HAPPY RETIREES KITCHEN said...

Hi Eha, nice to see someone else from the Eastern states of Australia on the blog scene. Just tried to find your blog but with no success. Would be good to connect on the blog. I know what you mean about the steaks mooing on the plate. Same here. Best wishes, Pauline

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Pauline, we used to serve much larger portion sizes. Just can't eat that much these days. Which is probably a good thing! Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Pauline, I'm obviously not Eha, but wanted to answer in case she doesn't see this: I don't believe she has a blog. But hoping she'll see this and let you know directly!

savorthebest said...

I love the peppery flavor of arugula with steak. Great combination.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Dahn, it really is a nice combo. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Eha said...

Hello Pauline and thanks to you and John ! Owing to a whole host of circumstances I have somehow and most gratefully been accepted as a blog-less 'ring-in' for the longest of time . . . thought I had subscribed to you recently . . . shall check as soon as able and come say 'hi' !!!

Simone’s Kitchen said...

That’s looks so good. Who doesn’t love a good steak?

Sherry's Pickings said...

this looks great KR. I like my steak (I only eat it twice a year at a pub) medium rare to rare. Squishy and tender :) Arugula? I just can't pronounce it. thank heavens we call it rocket here in Oz.

Angie's Recipes said...

wow John, that's my favourite meal! I actually can eat steak every single day! Yours is seared to perfection!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Simone, yup. We can never resist steak! :-) Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Sherry, really must look up one of these days how it came to be that the US calls arugula arugula, and much of the English speaking world calls it rocket. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Angie, this sounds like a dish you should be making. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Healthy World Cuisine said...

Love that dressing with both lemon and balsamic vinegar. This is one low fuss and low carb meal. We usually grill our steaks so will have to try your easy oven method.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Bobbi, the oven method is nice -- and if you wish, easy to make a pan sauce that way. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Anne in the kitchen said...

As we have gotten older, we are eating much less meat and fowl at each meal. In face we split a steak now and this would be a lovely way for us to have our shared beef. Thanks!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Anne, neither of us can eat a whole steak these days. So slicing and sharing is the way to go for us. :-) Thanks for the comment.

mjskit said...

There's not much better than a steak salad on a hot summer's night. This looks so good, light and flavorful. Got tons of arugula in the garden so a perfect salad for this gal.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi MJ, great way to use your arugula! :-) Thanks for the comment.

Marcelle said...

The picture of this salad just screamed "summer" to me, John 🌞 I don't eat a lot of red meat, but lately we have been adding beef to our menu more often than before. Thanks for the tips of the proper temp, I like steak medium rare. We will definitely be making this dinner salad!!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Marcelle, we don't eat a lot of red meat either, but sometimes one just needs a steak. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Cocoa and Lavender said...

This reminds me of the dish "tagliata" I have had so many times in Tuscany. Just a perfect meal. And, peaking of perfect, your steak is exactly that - perfect! I could dig right in!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi David, this is a lot like that dish! Could add Parmesan to this, and you'd be basically there. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake said...

Yes!!! A perfect summer pairing. Love this sort of meal on a hot summer's day!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Liz, we do too. :-) Thanks for the comment.

shirleysimplerecipe said...

The steak and the leafy greens looks yum 😃!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Shirley, it's really good stuff. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Food Gal said...

This is perfect when you are craving grilled beef, but don't want to indulge in a giant steak. This way, you get only as many slices as you desire, plus the brightness and healthfulness of all the greens.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Carolyn, we like this for exactly the reason you suggest -- easy way to satisfy your beef craving without going into a steak coma. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Valentina said...

I love a rare steak. This entire dish looks wonderful -- perfect for company. :-) ~Valentina

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Valentina, it really is a terrific dish! :-) Thanks for the comment.

Balvinder said...

Perfect summer salad.

Judee said...

Although we do not eat meat, I can see that this is a simple delicious meal and I love the fresh herbs and arugula as your base.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Balvinder, it is! :-) Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Judee, we sometimes substitute white beans for the steak. Different, but also good. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Jeff the Chef said...

I really like this, John. It's a fantastic way to split one steak between two people.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Jeff, the perfect amount of meat for us. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Kelly | Foodtasia said...

Looks fantastic, John! The arugula and spinach make it very elegant!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Kelly, it's really a wonderful dish. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Ben | Havocinthekitchen said...

This steak is cooked to perfection! And I love this beautiful, elegant, and somewhat artistic plating on the pillow of greens.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Ben, it's fun to plate steak on greens. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Raymund said...

Agree with Ben, that steak was cooked perfectly

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Raymund, we love steak cooked that way. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Judy@SavoringToday said...

I have come to appreciate arugula so much for the way it adds a peppery bite so now it's in most of my salads. It's so good with steak too! Well done, John, this is a perfect summer dish!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Judy, we love steak and arugula. And spinach. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Anonymous said...

Yum. I will have to make this. Regine
www.rsrue.blogspot.com

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Regine, it's totally worth making. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Inger said...

This is great, so healthy and no one's going to feel deprived. I just went to a lecture where they said you should have 2 cups of leafy greens a day, so I am on a quest!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Inger, that's a good quest! :-) Thanks for the comment.

bread&salt said...

Looks very nutritious and very healthy. Thanks for sharing. Greetings.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi B&S, it's really a nice dish, isn't it? Thanks for the comment.

Anonymous said...

Lovely dish, used to adore steak served like this but sadly my system cannot tolerate it any longer. The steak looks perfectly done.
Éva http://kitcheninspirations.wordpress.com/

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Eva, we're lucky that we can still tolerate most foods, just not as much of them (or in some cases, not as often) as we used to enjoy. Thanks for the comment.

Laura Dembowski said...

This is so 100% my kind of dinner. Steak or fish and salad and I am a happy girl. Your steak is perfectly cooked!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Laura, our kind of dinner, too! :-) Thanks for the comment.