Steak Salad

No need to bring the steak to room temp before cooking. You sear on such high heat, and the steaks are so thin, it's actually better to cook the steak while it is still relatively chilled, if you want the centers to be rare.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4


  • Olive oil, canola oil, or grapeseed oil
  • 1 lb flank steak or skirt steak
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 head lettuce greens
  • 1 bunch of arugula, young leaves, tough stems removed
  • 1/2 of one red bell pepper, thinly sliced lengthwise and cut into 1-inch long pieces
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
  • Pomegranate seeds or thinly sliced kumquats (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 6 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (smooth) or 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • Salt and Pepper


1 Heat a couple teaspoons of cooking oil in a cast iron pan on high heat. Pat the steaks dry. Sprinkle the steaks on both sides with a little salt. Sear the steaks in the pan on both sides, just until nicely browned. Remove pan from heat and cover. Let cook for a few minutes more, until the steak is done to your liking. You can test with a meat thermometer. Remove steak from pan at 125 to 130°F for rare, 140°F for medium rare, 150° for medium. Or use your fingers to test the meat for doneness (see The Finger Test to Check the Doneness of Meat).

Remove from pan to a cutting board. Let rest for a few minutes before cutting. Cut thin slices, on a diagonal so you slice wide pieces, across the grain of the meat.

2 Toss together the lettuce greens, arugula, bell pepper, goat cheese, and scallions. Arrange on individual plates. Sprinkle with avocado. Lay on top several slices of chilled sliced steak. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds or sliced kumquats if using.

3 Mix together the lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle on salad.

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  • Amy

    I completely agree. I like my steak rare, so reheating it just tends to overcook it. Using it on a salad allows me to stretch what little I have left over and tastes great!

  • jonathan

    hi elise – i’ve tried a lot of your recipes lately. simple….delicious. it’s all about the quality of the ingredients anyway, true? i’ve made a version of this salad in the summer (lots of grilled steak left over in the summer, eh?) substituting grilled peaches for the kumquats. maybe a very light raspberry vinaigrette to go on it? yummmmmmm……..

  • pegs

    I always hope for good leftover steak. You can have a hot or cold steak sandwich with various condiments, or a delicious salad. Tonight I think I will toss a bag of salad greens with an avacoda, some spring onions and some canned mandarine oranges (wish I had fresh oranges). And if I have some black olives in the frige I’ll toss them in (always check your leftovers when making a salad). But first I mix some good balsamic vinegar and good olive oil — plus sea or kosher salt and fresh ground pepper — in the bottom of my wooden salad bowl. At the last minute I might throw in some nuts and/or ripe cheese. Heat a loaf of bread to serve with salad. Good bread and good salad — what more can you want. A bottle of good wine!!!! My husband and I look forward to these “leftovers.”

  • Elise Lafosse

    Hi Elise,

    I have been meaning to tell you for awhile that this steak salad has become a staple in my household. I must make it once at least every two weeks. It is quick and easy and good, and when I just am not that creative when it comes to figuring out a meal, I always rely on this, this recipe and the seared tuna recipe as well. Thank you for making my life a little easier with this recipe.


  • Cheryl

    Hey there,

    I absolutely enjoy your reading your recipes. However, where I live, arugula is not readily available. I was just curious what type of vegetables you can substitute it with?

    Fresh baby spinach, though the taste isn’t even close to the same. Arugula also goes by “rocket”. It grows like a weed, even more persistent than dandelions, so if you can get a hold of some seed, and have an untended patch of dirt somewhere, if you sow them you’ll get an unlimited yearly supply (when in season). ~Elise

  • Miss Tenacity

    I just made steak salad today! I will rarely use leftover steak and rather just grill up some flank steak purchased expressly for salads to a crusty bloody rare and then drop the juicy shreds over a huge bowl of romaine and chopped red peppers. Yum! :-)

  • Steak salad

    Just had “steak salad” for dinner. Bagged salad instead of greens from the market (due to laziness), with strawberry vinaigrette, chick peas, thinly sliced red onion.

  • Emily Jaycox

    We substituted roasted sunflower seeds (generally have these on hand for salads) for the toasted walnuts. Also, we plopped our steaks down whole on the bed of salad. And the steaks were grilled instead of pan seared. Thinly sliced red onion instead of scallions. Other than that, we used the recipe as given and it was a winner! Thank you.