Steak with Arugula

I like steak, I like potatoes, and, like any true-blue American carnivore, I like steak and potatoes. Together, that is. But when frigid winter turns to light and breezy spring—which should be happening any day now, right, weather gods?—who wants to be loaded down by heavy starches and rich sauces? It's time for my periodic meat fix (and me, too, but that's another story) to go on a diet. 

Here, I take inspiration from Italy, where I noticed steak often was served under a big pile of arugula—sort of an upside-down steak salad, if you will. It is one of those meals that is perfect in its simplicity.

First off, lose the potatoes. Then bring in a supporting cast of bright flavors and fresh textures: bracing lemon, crisp red onion, nutty Parmigiano, fruity olive oil, coarse sea salt. Now, I have no idea how this compares calorically to a plate of steak frites with red wine sauce, but I can say it feels a hell of a lot lighter. In fact, you may even have room for dessert. Ice cream with amarena cherries, anyone?


1 boneless shell steak, about  1 1/2-inches thick
5-0unce bag baby arugula, washed
1/3 cup pine nuts
2 ounces shaved Parmigiano
Lemon vinaigrette (recipe follows)
1/4 red onion, very thinly sliced
Lemon wedges
Coarse sea salt

Season steak generously with black pepper. Sear in a hot grill pan, about 6-7 minutes per side for medium-rare. Let rest 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, make salad: combine arugula, pine nuts, and parmigiano with vinaigrette to taste. Pile salad on the serving platter, along with lemon wedges and red onion (drizzle onion with a little of the leftover vinaigrette). After steak has rested, slice and arrange on the platter. Drizzle slices with a little olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.

Lemon Vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Dollop dijon mustard
Pinch of salt
Pepper to taste
1/3 cup olive oil

Whisk together lemon juice, mustard, salt, and pepper. Slowly whisk in olive oil.

Categories: Main Dishes, Beef, Salads
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