A mediocre salad can be made great by the help of an excellent dressing, but one of my favourite salads — the steak salad — is barely dressed. Rather than whip up a vinaigrette or creamy tahini, I like to finish my ribeye-crowned pile of greens with a squeeze of lemon and—more importantly — the juices from the pan.
Pan juices are, after all, delicious, but I’d be lying if I said the elegant laziness of this manoeuvre wasn’t part of its charm. A well-marbled steak, basted in butter, is your best choice here, as you’ll need that hot fat to wilt and flavour your pile of greens. Just pan sear your steak how you usually would, adding at least a tablespoon (or two) of butter to help develop that crust, then remove the steak and let it rest.
While it’s resting, grab your (plain, undressed and unadorned) greens, and drizzle on the juices straight from the pan, making sure to give every leaf a bit of love (you can toss if needed). Squeeze the juice of half a lemon on top, and prepare the other components of the salad.
In terms of other, non-steak toppings, you need one allium vegetable (such as shallots, onion, or scallions), one sweetish fruit (tomatoes or strawberries), and one funky cheese. Chop and sprinkle those on the greens, then slice your steak and get them on there too. Take a moment to marvel at the beautiful meal you’ve created for yourself, then scarf it down.