Thursday, July 4, 2013

Deconstructed Steak Salad with Cilantro Serrano Pesto

This dish takes all of the components of a steak salad and deconstructs them into their individual ingredients. Layer them all into one big bowl and you have yourself one show stopping salad. 
best steak salad recipe mixed vegetable salad salad with pesto

Don't you just love the word deconstructed? Especially when it pertains to food. I used to think it was a word that chefs used to try to make their dishes sound fancier than they really were, but now I'm convinced it usually means greatness. Just think about it, if something is deconstructed, it means that someone took time to first construct it, then figure out how to take that same thing and create it as unconstructed, thus deconstructed! So in essence, deconstructed is nothing more than code word for SUPER SIMPLE! Capiche?
Ok, enough of my crazy word game, let's get on with this greatness.
Since this salad isn't really constructed, that means it's a cinch to pull together, even at the last minute.

steak salad

 First, you chop some lettuce, then you slice some veggies, and lastly, you top with perfectly grilled steak. You don't even mix this salad. Did you hear me people? You don't even mix this salad...genius!

So let's talk about how to dress this super easy genius salad. Serrano cilantro pesto. Again, easy and so darn delicious. Literally, the pesto takes this salad and elevates it to places salads don't usually go.

homemade pesto recipe

Take some cilantro, chopped serrano, parmesan, and pine nuts. Mix them all up together in the food processor, drizzle in some olive oil, and voila! You have a tasty topper for your salad. The pesto is a little thicker than traditional salad dressing, but I didn't have any problem mixing it all together. You could probably add a squeeze of lime juice to thin it out if needed.

best steak salad recipe mixed vegetable salad

This salad is the perfect addition to your summer dinner rotation and makes a pretty presentation if your looking to impress! 
This recipe serves more of a could use more or less of any ingredient or add any veggie that you have in your refrigerator.

Deconstructed Steak Salad with Serrano Cilantro Pesto

Recipe adapted from The Wicked Noodle
Serves 4

2 cups cilantro leaves, loosely packed
1 serrano chile, seeds removed
2 garlic cloves
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste

Place first six ingredients in a food processor. Blend until finely chopped. As machine is running, drizzle in olive oil until mixture comes together to desired consistency. Add salt to taste.

For the salad:
1 1/2 pound New York steak, grilled and sliced
1 head red leaf lettuce, chopped
1 avocado, diced
4 scallions, thinly sliced
2 ears of corn, grilled and kernels cut off the cob
2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
Feta cheese (I used French Feta), diced into large chunks

Place lettuce in the bottom of a large shallow serving bowl. Starting with the avocado, line up remaining ingredients going from left to right, ending with the Feta. Place the steak on top going right down the middle.
Place individual servings in a bowl, top with pesto, and toss.

PS- Pray that you have leftover pesto to serve with your scrambled eggs the next morning. Or toss with your tuna salad for lunch.


  1. This IS genius! I can't wait to try it!

    1. Marci, it's delicious...totally right up your alley ;)