Grilled Steak Salad with Avocado and Jalapeno-Lime Vinaigrette

steak salad The first day of summer always gives me a feeling of resolution. Like that January 1st feeling, except much warmer. This, this will be the summer I (insert best intention here…go to the beach more, take that trip, eat more ice cream for goodness sake!) As an adult, June, July and August no longer means summer vacation, unless you’re a teacher. We have to make the effort to carve out summer signifiers. On my list this year? This year, I want more ssand between my toes, spontaneous trips and actually making it to some ‘yoga in the park’ classes around the city. Of course, summer has it’s food milestones, as well. You HAVE to have at least one grilled burger, perfect corn on the cob and s’more, preferably in one meal, accompanied by lots of rosé. Living in the city, with no grill, fire pit, outdoor pizza oven or backyard to shuck corn, you get creative. All of the grilling classes I teach are done indoors on grill pans. The secret to mimicking that outdoor char-grilled flavor? A sprinkle of smoked salt. You’ll want to put it on everything. This salad starts with a perfectly seasoned and seared steak and gets better from there. The combination of pineapple, avocado and tangy, spicy dressing feels like you’re doing summer right. You could wrap everything up in grilled corn tortillas for a pretty tasty taco, as well. Just add sand, a s’more and that glass of rosé.

Grilled Steak Salad with Avocado and Jalapeno-Lime Vinaigrette Makes 2 entree-size salads Steak and Salad:

  • 8-12 ounces grass-fed flat iron steak (or your favorite cut)
  • Smoked salt, to taste
  • 1/4 fresh pineapple, cored and sliced into wedges
  • 1 bunch watercress, cleaned and tough stems removed
  • 4 cups arugula, baby or regular
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • Pickled red onions (optional)
  • Kosher salt and fresh black pepper


  • Juice of 2 big limes
  • 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard (I used a jalepeno mustard from Apple Ridge Farm – thanks Rebecca!)
  • 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 jalapeno, finely minced
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive or grapeseed oil
  • Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste

Heat oven to 400F. Heat a grill pan or cast-iron pan on medium-high heat. Pat dry the steak and season well on both sides with smoked salt and pepper. Sear the steak for about 3 minutes – you want some nice grill marks. Flip the steak and transfer the whole pan into the oven to continue to cook. You want an internal temp of about 135F for rare to medium-rare, check every few minutes with a thermometer. Remove the steak to a cutting board and let rest. Wipe out the pan. Heat the same grill pan used to cook the steak on medium heat. Place the pineapple on the grill and cook for a few minutes on each side until charred. Remove to the cutting board to cool. In a Mason jar, combine all the vinaigrette ingredients and shake to emulsify. Taste and add Kosher salt, pepper and more of any of the ingredients. You want a dressing with some punch – don’t be shy on the salt and lime juice. In a large bowl, toss watercress and arugula with as much vinaigrette as you like (you’ll have extra dressing). Season with Kosher salt and pepper. Divide onto bowls or plates. Slice the steak against the grain and slice the pineapple. Arrange on top of the lettuce and garnish with avocado and pickled red onion (if you want).

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