We have fallen head over heels in love with a hot juicy steak topped with cold peppery arugula dressed in a tart lemony vinaigrette and finished with sharp Parmesan cheese shavings. It’s a one-dish easy dinner that comes together in a snap and is from Garten’s How Easy is That? You could call it Ina’s beef version of Parmesan Chicken Salad, which is also one of our all time favorites, featured here with the recipe and shown below. If you’ve fond of that recipe, you’re going to love the steak version.
Serving the greens really cold is the secret to this recipe. We filled a salad bowl with arugula and put it in the refrigerator to chill while the steak cooked and didn’t remove it until the steak was ready to slice. The contrast of the cold salad with the hot, juicy steak is like a well orchestrated party of opposites in your mouth. Trust me, you’re going to love it.
Thanks to a tip from our butcher at our local Publix supermarket, we have discovered a relatively inexpensive a cut of steak called a “shoulder tender.” It costs around $6.99 a pound, sometimes less if it’s on sale. Ina called for rib eyes, but of course you could use any cut of steak since the steak is sliced in the final presentation. Keep an eye out at your market or ask your butcher if a shoulder tender is available in your area. It is a relatively low fat version of most steaks. It's also very tender, not quite as much as a filet of beef, but more tender than a NY strip. We’ve been very pleased with the quality as well as the price.
Steak with Arugula
Adapted from How Easy is That? by Ina Garten, serves 2, easily doubled
1 shoulder tender, about ¾ of a pound (or 1” thick boneless steak cut of your choice such as a rib-eye, 1 per person)
1 tablespoon good extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing the steak(s)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fleur de sel or any good finishing salt for serving
Salad & vinaigrette ingredients:
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
Fleur de sel or Maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons good extra-virgin olive oil
5 to 6 ounces baby arugula
1 small chunk of imported Italian Parmesan cheese
If you are grilling the steaks, prepare a charcoal grill with hot coals or turn a gas grill to medium-high heat.
Brush steak(s) lightly with olive oil and sprinkle both sides liberally with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then set aside at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Place the arugula in a large salad bowl and refrigerate until serving time. Meanwhile, place lemon juice, Dijon mustard, Fleur de sel sal, and freshly ground black pepper in a small jar with a tight fitting lid and shake well to combine, then add the olive oil and shake well again. Set vinaigrette aside.
Set a heavy cast iron skillet on the stove over medium high heat and add the olive oil. When the oil starts to sizzle, add the steak(s) and cook for 5 minutes, then turn and cook the other side for 5 minutes, then check for doneness. The steaks will be medium-rare when the internal temperature reaches 125 degrees F on an instant read thermometer. Continue to cook until desired degree of doneness (we prefer ours rare to medium-rare.) Remove steaks to a plate, cover with foil, and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
While the steaks are resting, remove the salad bowl with the arugula from the refrigerator, give the vinaigrette a good shake, then toss the arugula with enough vinaigrette to moisten. Taste for seasonings and add more Fleur de sel and pepper if needed. Divide the cold arugula among individual plates, then slice steak(s) and place the steak slices on top with arugula. With a vegetable peeler, shave some long slices of Parmesan over individual salads, season the steak slices with a little more Fleur de sel and freshly ground black pepper and serve hot.