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Southwestern Steak Salad with Rosemary Garlic Vinaigrette

steak salad plate vinegar

Some night’s I have a craving for a dish that will leave me feeling entirely full and satisfied, yet isn’t full of carbs and other ingredients that will leave me dragging and uncomfortably stuffed.

Sometimes you just need a good serving of protein. A good steak always fills that void for me, and pairing it atop a tasty salad full of flavor just makes it that much better. When a steak is done just right, it will not only leave you feeling satisfied, but also proud of such a beautiful creation. Keep reading and I’ll give you all the tips and tricks that I use to make sure my steak comes out perfect every time.

First, you’re gonna need one of these:

Cooking the perfect steak is a subjective matter depending on who exactly will be enjoying that steak. I like mine right at medium, while my husband enjoys his medium rare. A good thermometer like this one will not only give you an accurate temperature reading, it will also tell you what range (rare, medium rare, well, etc.) that temperature falls in. Committing these temperatures to heart is the first step in learning how to cook the perfect steak.

Secondly, you’re going to want a nice sear on your steak. No one wants a rubbery steak, and no one wants a crunchy, over done steak either. The ideal steak will have a nice sear on the outside, but remain juicy on the inside. I find this to be best accomplished with a cast iron skillet like this one below.

Allow your cast iron skillet to come to a just below medium temperature, then add a generous amount of oil to the skillet. The skillet should be warm enough so that when the steak is initially placed on it, you will get a nice satisfying sizzle from it. To get the best result its also important to allow your meat to come to room temperature before beginning the cooking process. I also like to pat off any excess juice with a paper towel and season mine with a generous amount of Diamond Kosher Salt and freshly ground black pepper beforehand.

After I have a nice sear on all sides of my steak, while the steak is still not fully cooked through (about 3 minutes each side), I transfer it to the oven and let it finish off at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. I also love to add about 1/2 tbsp of butter and sprig of rosemary to the top of each steak to give it some extra flavor. Depending on the thickness, this can take anywhere from 6-8 minutes. This is where your meat thermometer will come in handy. Check the temperature at 6 minutes, if it is ideal, its time to let your steak reast. If not, pop it back in the oven for a couple of minutes or until you reach your desired temperature.

My favorite salad to pair with a beautifully cooked steak involves a really easy to make vinaigrette. While the oven is preheating, I add a sprig of rosemary and a couple smashed cloves of garlic to a tinfoil pack with a generous amount of olive oil and let it roast in the oven for about 10 minutes. I then mince the garlic and rosemary, and add it to a small bowl with 2 tbsp white or red wine vinegar and 1 tbsp of olive oil, whisking to combine.

I like to coat either spring mix or arugula in this tasty dressing, and add some roasted red peppers and feta for even more flavor. And if you are the type of person who likes a nice crunch or a carb with your salad, simply cut a Demi baguette into thin slices on the diagonal, drizzle them with olive oil, and bake in the oven for about 5 minutes or until crispy.

I’ve been making this salad for several years, and I have yet to grow tired of it. Its recipes like this that I love to share with my readers, because I know they will enjoy them as much as I do.

Southwestern Steak Salad with Rosemary Garlic Vinaigrette

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 2 people


  • 2 strip steaks or ribeyes
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 3 springs rosemary
  • 2 tbsp red or white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 6 oz spring mix or arugula
  • 4 oz feta cheese
  • 1 demi baguette


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Core, seed, and thinly slice the bell pepper. Toss on a sheet pan in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Peel and smash the garlic cloves with a knife. Pull the leaves off one of the sprigs of rosemary. Add the garlic and rosemary to a foil pack and cover with a generous amount of olive oil. Roast the bell pepper and the foil pack for 10 minutes. 

  2. Pat any excess juice off the steaks with a paper towel. Season both sides with diamond kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat a large drizzle of olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. 

  3. Sear each side of the steak for 3-4 minutes until brown and nicely seared but not fully cooked. Add the steaks to the sheet pan with a pat of butter and sprig of rosemary on top of each one to continue roasting for 6-8 minutes or until desired temperature is reached. 

  4. Slice the bread on the diagonal. Lay several pieces flat on the sheet pan and drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil. Bake for 5 minutes. 

  5. Mince the roasted garlic and rosemary. Add to a small bowl with 2 tbsp white wine vinegar and 1 tbsp olive oil. Whisk to combine then season with salt and pepper. 

  6. In a large bowl, toss together the bell pepper and greens then drizzle with the vinaigrette, tossing until all the greens are evenly coated. 

  7. Once the steaks have reached the desired temperature, allow to rest for 5 minutes, then cut into thin slices. Plate the steak atop a large portion of the dressed greens. Top with feta cheese and serve with the sliced bread. 

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