I LOVE a good salad. But– not just any salad. I’m not about the iceberg-lettuce-and-lackluster-tomatoes-with-one-giant-green-pepper-slice kind of salad life. I want my salad to be hearty, savory, and satisfying. I especially love the big, packed salads you can get at a steakhouse restaurant- topped with a nice hunk of steak, some salty cheese, and a few vegetables to boot- it might be my favorite way to get in my greens (ok, besides my smoothies!).
Many of my favorite salads are SO easy to make at home- including the dressing! Though there are several salad dressings I love (this one is my usual go-to), my go-to for a steakhouse salad is a simple homemade blue cheese dressing.
There are plenty of recipes for blue cheese dressing out there, and mine is somewhere in the middle. It’s a little more yellow than white- because I use real crumbled blue cheese dressing and (usually) homemade mayo, which changes the tinge a little bit due to the avocado oil- but makes it no less delicious! Here’s how I throw it together:
Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing:
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup buttermilk (more as needed for desired consistency- I like mine pretty thick, to well-coat the salad)
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (the stronger the cheese, the more robust your dressing will be!)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
pinch sea salt (to taste)
- Blend all in a blender or food processor. If you prefer it ‘chunky’ style, halve the blue cheese and stir half in at the end. Keeps in fridge for 3-4 days.
Now for the main event! You can make this salad with any protein you’d like- I prefer it with steak, because it feels most like a steakhouse salad, that way. It also goes great with marinated grilled chicken or roasted chickpeas.
Tips to cook an awesome steak:
- Bring your steak to room temperature. Let me repeat that: BRING YOUR STEAK TO ROOM TEMPERATURE. For an evenly cooked steak, remove it from the fridge and packaging at least 10 minutes prior to cooking- 45 minutes to an hour is preferred.
- Pat your steak dry before salting. This is ESSENTIAL for a well seasoned steak and a good sear. I do this as soon as I remove it from the fridge.
- Salt your steak well. I mean WELL. You can also add pepper, if you prefer. But you want to salt your steak (I prefer kosher salt) evenly (preferably from above, with your fingers, NOT a salt shaker) as soon as you pat it dry- you want it to have time to really take on the seasoning.
- Get your grill, grill pan or skillet HOT before putting the steak on for the best sear. Don’t be afraid of heat! You want it to sizzle when it hits the pan.
- LEAVE YOUR STEAK ALONE. Don’t touch it until around halfway through cooking the first side, when you’ll want to rotate it halfway for those sexy grill marks. You want that Maillard reaction (that beautiful sear that produces FLAVOR) to occur.
- Don’t be afraid to set a timer and use a thermometer. For a 1″ steak:
- 4-6 minutes per side for rare to medium rare.
- Cook another 2 minutes per side for medium and well-done
- Always rest 5 minutes before slicing on a diagonal against the grain.
Let’s assemble our salads! I use the same Balance Bowl formula for this salad as I do all my bowls- a base, veggies, protein, and flavor boosts (which this one has a ton of!).
Assemble your salad:
The base: greens- I love romaine or an Italian blend with a little radicchio mixed in.
Protein: a great steak, grilled chicken, or roasted chickpeas
Produce: sliced grape tomatoes, sliced cucumber, chopped red onion
Flavor boosts: crumbled blue cheese, hard cooked egg + sliced black olives (and of course, homemade blue cheese dressing!)
If you loved this recipe, you’ll love the 30 bowls in my Balance in a Bowl e-book, packed with customizable grain bowls, salad bowls and noodle bowls for easy and delicious weeknight dinners the whole family will love!Print