My family loves a steak dinner with all the works. However, in the heat of the summer, a heavy meal isn’t all that appealing. It’s too much food when it’s hot & humid outside, and it’s way too much effort in the kitchen. When I first proposed a steak salad for dinner, it did not elicit an enthusiastic response – which is an understatement! My steak eaters had a hard time with the concept of a salad as a main course, but this is no wimpy iceberg lettuce salad. The foundation of this salad is Spring Salad Mix toss with a bold mustard caper dressing and topped with juicy bites of seared New York strip steak.
Spring mix salad mix is a mix of greens and lettuces of varying tastes and textures. Some of which are sweet and mild, while others provide a complementary slightly bitter edge. Grape tomatoes add a pop of color. The simple but bold dressing comes alive with minced capers, Dijon mustard, a little soy sauce, and red wine vinegar whisked together with olive oil. Capers are the immature, unopened, green flower buds of the caper bush, providing texture and tanginess.
My go-to steak for quick and easy recipes is New York Strip. It’s full of flavor and leaner than a rib eye. The real reason, however, is because it is so easy to slice into strips. Once the band of fat runs down one side is trimmed off, it’s straightforward slicing. There’s no bone to contend with, and its oblong shape makes it easy to cut evenly sized pieces with very little waste. If preferred, use sirloin or ribeye steak, but these cuts are more challenging to slice up neatly. (I have mangled a ribeye when trying to slice up for use in a salad – it wasn’t pretty!) I’d stay away from flank or skirt steak for this recipe.
Here are my three rules for searing any steak.
- Let the steak come to room temperature before you cook it. Setting it out on the counter for about 20 minutes allows for a more even cooking.
- Season, season, season! Season your steak as soon as you take it out of the fridge. I am a fan of Creole Seasoning, but any steak or meat seasoning or just salt & pepper will work! Regardless of your seasoning preference, do it with gusto! The biggest mistake most cooks make is under-seasoning. After you generously coat both sides, season a little more!
- Lastly, let the steak rest after cooking. It is important to let the steak rest after cooking to reabsorb and distribute the juices constructed during the cooking process.
For a perfect med-rare steak (one-inch thick), cook in a HOT cast iron or stainless steel skillet with a tablespoon of canola, vegetable, or grapeseed oil. Do not use olive oil unless you like the smoke detector going off! When the oil begins to shimmer, it’s ready. Cook the steak for 5 minutes, flip and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove the steak from the pan and let it rest on a plate while making the salad dressing.
The dressing takes just minutes. Whisk together the mustard, soy sauce, vinegar, capers, salt & pepper and gradually add in the oil, whisking slowly.
If desired, using a vegetable peeler, shave off a few curls of parmesan cheese from a wedge. I keep my parmesan in the freezer, so it’s super easy to make the shavings. The unused portion goes back to the freezer. Blue cheese or feta cheese crumbles can also be used.
Place the salad mix in individual bowls or on plates and sprinkle with the tomatoes. Cut the steak in slices or bite-size pieces and add them on top of the greens and tomatoes. Drizzle with the vinaigrette. Garnish with the cheese shavings. This restaurant-quality salad makes a healthy and delicious dinner or substantial lunch. While this salad is delicious in its simplicity, it can be easily zhooshed up by adding sliced onions, radishes, avocado, bell peppers, corn, hard-boiled eggs.
Steak and Spring Mix Salad with Mustard Caper VinaigretteCourse: Main, Dinner, LunchCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
Enjoy this bold steak salad, packed with juicy bites of seared New York strip steak, colorful greens, and tossed with a tangy mustard and caper dressing on hot summer evening. Quick & easy, ready in just 20 minutes. Gluten-free, Keto-friendly, Paleo, Low-carb.
1 1/2 pounds steak, about 1 inch thick
1 tablespoons canola oil
Steak Seasoning (Creole Seasoning recommended)
Salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
5-6 oz bag of Spring Salad mix
1 cup (1/2 pint) grape tomatoes, halved
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon red- or white-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons drained capers, minced
4 tablespoons of olive oil
Optional: Parmesan cheese – shaved for garnish
- Prep: Set steak out on counter to bring to room temperature (about 20 minutes). Slice grape tomatoes in half. Drain and minse the capers. Shave parmesan cheese, if using for garnish.
- Heat a cast iron skillet with canola oil over medium high heat until oil is shimmering. Pat dry the steak with a paper towel and generously season both sides with Creole seasoning. Sear on first side for 5 minutes, turn and sear the other side for 3 for medium rare (adjust time according to personal preference). Transfer to a cutting board to rest for at least 5-10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, put the Spring Salad Mix on a platter or on individual plates. Top with the cherry tomatoes and sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt. In a medium glass or stainless-steel bowl, whisk together the mustard, soy sauce, vinegar, capers, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Gradually add in the remaining 5 tablespoons oil, whisking slowly.
- Cut the steak in slices for in bite size pieces. Put the slices on top of the salad greens and tomatoes and drizzle the vinaigrette over all. If desired, garnish with shaved parmesan
- New York strip steak: Substitute rib eye, sirloin or flank steak
- Steak seasoning recommendations: Creole Seasoning, Montreal Seasoning, salt, pepper
- Grape tomatoes: substitute any variety of tomato (slice or quarter larger tomatoes)
- Add-on: sliced onions, radishes, avocado, bell peppers, corn, hard boiled eggs
- Garnish options: blue cheese, feta cheese