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


  • Extra virgin olive 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 extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (smooth) or 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • Salt and Pepper


1 Cook the steak: Heat a couple teaspoons of 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).

2 Let the steak rest before cutting, then cut thin slices: 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.

3 Compose the salads: 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.

4 Make dressing: Mix together the lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle on salad.

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  • Wendy

    This was an excellent way to use up leftover steaks from a barbque. I served it with sour cream potato salad and garlic bread. Didn’t have the bell pepper but I did have radishes from my garden. I’m just developing a taste for arugula and this was a nice ratio to mix. Dressing was good.


  • Shirley

    It has always amazed me that people would put steak on lettuce or why people would really eat arugula which is a terrible bitter green that is really a weed. Give me my steak on the side (like Emily) and my salad separately. Recipe is good, just don’t put the steak on the salad.

  • 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.


  • 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! :-)

  • 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

  • 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.


  • 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……..

  • 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!