The warm summer days are upon us. With it comes lots of salads and grilling. And gazpacho… lots of gazpacho. But this post isn’t about gazpacho, it’s about salad and a grilled piece of beef.
I derived this salad from a traditional spinach salad with warm bacon dressing. It’s a wilted salad with a tart tangy dressing that tastes incredible with thinly sliced steak on top. The sugar has been removed from the dressing and I’ve added more veggies and a whole lot of protein to make this a meal. The fat in the dressing nutritionally rounds out the meal leaving you quite satiated.
This salad stays true to the flexible nature of salad ingredients. Bacon, tomatoes, avocado, and hard boiled eggs are my standard fare. But things like sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions, grilled sweet potatoes, and goat cheese can all make a great addition… they just take a bit more time to prepare. Generally if I am planning on making this salad I will make the bacon, boil the eggs, etc. ahead of time so when dinner rolls around I can assemble the salad while the steak is on the grill. Even the dressing has a bit of flexibility to it. Out of bacon? Use lard instead, it’s incredible! Find it too tart? Reduce the vinegar.
For the steak I like to find one on the larger size for this salad, usually around 1lb. This allows me to grill one and then can split it between two salads. But it also works the other way around if you are trying to cut back and save a bit. You can just as easily go with a smaller steak and bulk up on the veggies and still get a great nutritionally balanced, satisfying meal. Simply adding sweet potatoes to salad quickly ups the fullness factor. Either way you will be satisfied.
Feel free to assemble as pictured or play around with however you would like to present it. Remember, it’s a salad. It will be devoured. Just take a moment to enjoy it.
Steak and Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing
Recipe by: Elisabeth Norris
- 1 rib eye/new york/etc. steak (approximately 1lb)
- Sea salt
- Olive oil
- 4 slices bacon
- 2 hard boiled eggs, peeled
- 2 small tomatoes
- ½ of an avocado
- ~8 cups baby spinach
- 2-3 tbsp bacon fat
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp whole grain mustard
- ¼ tsp dijon mustard
Optional additional ingredients
- Goat cheese
- Sautéed mushrooms
- Caramelized onions
- Grilled sweet potatoes
Preheat heat your grill on high. Rub your steak liberally with sea salt and olive oil. When the grill is hot place the steak on the grill. Keeping your grill hot, cook 4-5 minutes. Turn steak and continue to cook 3-5 minutes for medium rare, 5-7 minutes for medium, or 8-10 minutes for medium well. Once the desired temperature is reached, remove from grill and tent with foil for 5 minutes.*
While your steak is cooking heat a frying pan on medium high heat. Add the bacon and fry till crisp. Remove bacon and reserve bacon in a small heatproof bowl.
To prepare the dressing:
Heat the the bacon grease in a small sauce pan over low. When warmed through, add in the red wine vinegar, whole grain mustard, and dijon mustard. Whisk together and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and season with a pinch of salt and pepper if desired. Let cool for 5 minutes before tossing with the greens.
Put the spinach in large bowl. Pour half the dressing over top and toss well. Taste and see if you need more. This recipe makes more dressing than you need and becomes too tart if over dressed. Save any leftover dressing or add additional spinach to use up the remaining dressing. Divide the greens between two large plates. From here you can assemble however you like but this is generally how I like to present the salad.
- Crumble two pieces of bacon over each plate
- Quarter the hard boiled eggs place a quarter at the top, both sides, and bottom of each plate.
- Quarter each tomato and place a quarter in between each egg quarter
- Cut the half an avocado in half giving a quarter to each plate. You can leave it as a large chunk or you can slice it further and arrange it nicely on the plate.
- Slice the steak into ¼” slices. Take half the slices and place on top of one of the salads. Add the other half of the slices to the other salad.
*This is not meant to be a definitive guide to how to grill a steak. If you are unsure about grilling a steak, please google it! If you know how to grill, please skip these directions.