This grilled steak salad is such a wonderful combination of flavors and textures. The charred crispy exterior of the steak is balanced out by the creamy avocado. The balsamic vinaigrette dressing is the perfect balance of sweet and tart and ties the whole thing together. This is a perfect summer salad.
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Notes on Ingredients
Which type of steak should I use?
Use the best steak you can afford. Organic, grass-fed filet mignon would be wonderful. However, as that can be a bit pricey, another good option is top sirloin. This is the top part of the sirloin and is more tender and smaller than the bottom sirloin. Steak with marbling through the meat has a more even distribution of fat which will melt into the meat and make for a nice juicy steak.
One thing to note: there are different cuts of meat in different countries. Filet mignon is called fillet steak in Ireland for example. Ask your butcher for their recommendation if you’re not sure.
Avoid balsamic vinegars which contain sugar and artifical food coloring. Proper balsamic vinegar has been aged in barrels which is what gives it its dark brown color.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The oil is what carries the flavor of the dressing so it’s important to use the best quality possible. Olive oil should be kept in a dark glass bottle to protect it from the sun.
The combination of ingredients listed in this recipe are perfect for the start of summer as that’s when they come into season. You can change the arugula for spinach or lettuce as the season progresses.
Tips for Cooking Steak
Season the steak before cooking
Season the meat as far in advance of cooking as possible. Preferably the day before. When you generously season with salt the day before, it gives the salt time to pass through the meat and season it evenly. It also helps bind the protein strands together so they don’t release as much water when they come into contact with heat. This means a much juicier steak.
Allow the steak to come to room temperature
The steak should be at room temperature before you put it in the frying pan. This ensures even cooking. If the steak is cold when you put it in the pan, then the center won’t cook properly.
Preheat your grill
Make sure the grill is piping hot before you put the steak on. This will help you to get a deep brown color on the steak which is what gives it all its flavor. You can tell the grill is hot enough by holding your hand 3 inches above it, if you can only hold your hand there for 2-4 seconds it’s hot. Any longer and you’ll need to wait for your grill to heat up more.
Allow resting time
It is so important to allow the steak to rest when it’s done cooking. Number one because it makes a mess if you cut into it immediately. By letting it rest, you give it time for the juices to be absorbed back into the meat. It’s also easier to cut once it has had time to rest.
Cut against the grain
When slicing the steak, cut against the grain. It slices the long fibers and makes the steak easier to chew and more tender.
A really high-quality steak has so many nutritional benefits. It’s a great source of high-quality protein meaning that it contains all 9 essential amino acids. It also has high iron content. The iron which is found in beef is in the heme form which is absorbed very efficiently. That being said, these benefits are dependent on the quality of meat. Animals that are raised on a feedlot in close confinement do not have the same nutritional value because they are fattened up as fast as possible and get less exercise. Look for free-range, grass-fed beef where possible.
Grilled steak salad is a perfect summer meal. Make a potato salad with Low GI Boiled Baby Potatoes and homemade mayonnaise to go with it. Some fresh cherries or frozen grapes would be a delicious way to end the meal.
If you make this recipe, please let me know in the comments below! I love hearing what people think and what changes or additions you make. Please share this recipe with your friends and family!
Grilled Steak Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Chopping board
- Sharp knife
- 2 filet mignon
- salt to season the steak
- 1 bag arugula
- 8 radishes sliced
- 4 scallions sliced
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes sliced
- 1 avocado
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- Season the steak the day before with a generous amount of salt. Keep the steak in the refrigerator overnight. Remove from the fridge an hour before you plan to cook it to allow it to come to room temperature.
- Preheat the grill. To check if it's hot enough, hold your hand about 3 inches over the surface. If you need to pull your hand away after 2-4 seconds it's hot enough. If you can hold your hand there for longer then you need to wait for the coals to get hotter.
- Cook the steak for 3 minutes on one side then turn when it is a deep brown color. Cook an additional 3 minutes for medium-rare, 4-5 minutes for medium and 5-6 for well done.
- Allow the steak to rest for 5 minutes before thinly slicing it against the grain.
- While the steak is resting arrange the arugula, radishes, scallions, cherry tomatoes, and avocado on a plate.
- Add the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, mustard, salt and pepper to a jar. Put the lid on and shake well to combine.
- Serve the warm steak with the salad and balsamic vinaigrette.