I had a revelation a few weeks ago. I was sitting on my friend Lucy’s back deck having lunch when it came to me: steak salad is flipping amazing. In between bites of excellently cooked beef (thanks Shane!) I tried to remember the last time I had it and drew a blank. Was it really that long?
It’s clear to me that this American classic has been shockingly neglected in my kitchen. Thankfully, I realized my mistake just in time for summer, a season made for steak salad if there ever was one.
You’ll notice that there aren’t a ton of frills here – no crumbles of blue cheese, no sprinkle of crisp bacon or chopped egg - and that’s intentional. I wanted this to still actually be a salad, a dish that highlights the deliciousness of grilled sirloin for sure, but one that also gives the great summer produce space to shine.
It requires very little cooking, all of which is done ahead of time and can be done outside. It’s substantial but light enough for the hot months and steak always feels special, so it’s perfect for guests. I see only upside to this dish and that it will be making a more regular appearance on our dinner table in the weeks to come, maybe even this weekend…
Memorial Day Steak Salad (serves 6)
2 1/2 - 3 pound tri-tip sirloin steak
8 cups baby spinach or arugula, washed and dried
3 medium carrots, shaved
1 seedless cucumber, thinly sliced
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
4 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
Brianna’s buttermilk ranch or creamy blue cheese
About 30 minutes before cooking, remove the steak from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature. Pat both sides dry with paper towels and sprinkle generously with kosher salt and black pepper. Heat a cast iron skillet or grill pan over medium heat for 5-6 minutes until quite hot.
Sear the steak for 5-6 minutes per side for medium-rare. Remove from the heat and cover with foil. Rest 10-15 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute in the steak. Place the entire steak in the refrigerator and chill for 2-3 hours, or until ready to serve.
Thinly slice the chilled tri-tip and place on top of the salad greens, shaved carrots, cucumber slices and tomato halves among the plates. Drizzle with dressing to taste, I prefer Brianna’s Classic Buttermilk Ranch.
Small Kitchen Friendly?
100%. I used a grill pan, large platter, medium cutting board, tongs, a chef’s knife, and a vegetable peeler, and foil, paper towels. That’s it!
As you can imagine this went over well. Both Mike and I love a beautifully cooked steak (medium/medium-rare) and serving it cold is a refreshing change. Normally I go for vinaigrettes, but in this case an awesome buttermilk ranch is the perfect compliment. The crisp vegetables and the bitterness of the arugula, are all balanced by the creamy dressing. We will definitely be looking for as many excuses as we can find to make this recipe. I hope you do too!