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.
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.
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)
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
“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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