Balsamic Steak with Strawberry Arugula Salad

  • By Jackie Sun
  • September 21, 2014

Weeknight Meal via @CookSmarts: Balsamic Steak #recipe

A key to successful cooking is to keep things simple. Have you ever been to a restaurant where there were too many things going on in the dish that your taste buds got overwhelmed? After all, simplicity allows you to really taste the ingredients.

Each season brings forth wonderful produce – spring asparagus, summer tomatoes, fall apples, winter squashes, to name just a few. Whenever we come back from the market, lugging bagfuls of fresh produce, we enjoy it as simply as we can. Asparagus tossed in a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, then roasted. Tomatoes, raw and fresh in a salad with light vinaigrette. Crisp apples for snack time. A side of buttery, roasted squash for dinner.

In other words, simple is best in this case. Let the flavors of fresh ingredients shine!

“Totally awesome! I used raspberry jam in the vinaigrette which perfectly complemented the strawberries. It was equally delicious on the steak. I will definitely make this again.”

Balsamic Steak #recipe via @CookSmartsHowever, there is one ingredient that we tend to overlook more often than you would think – steak. We love a good steak. Who doesn’t? (That is, if you eat meat, of course!) While it’s not necessarily something we need to eat everyday, it’s definitely something that is good every once in a while. And when we think about the best way to enjoy steak, it’s, well…very simple.

If we’re splurging on a great piece of steak, the thing we want to taste most is the steak itself. Salt, pepper, a bit of cooking oil, and then sear on the grill / stove. That’s it!

“This was my favorite meal that I have made and I have made over 100! Nailed it!”

Unfortunately, this simplicity has kept us from sharing our favorite way on how to prepare and cook steak. Our apologies! Not that we were trying to keep things from everyone, but sometimes we forget that the best things in life are the simplest.

So while this isn’t some fancy steakhouse dinner, it’s definitely something to keep around for those much-loved steak nights.

This steak is tasty on its own, but to add a little extra flavor, we like it with a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette, which is just as quick and easy to make. With a simple side salad, this homemade meal is sure to hit the spot.

For More Smarts:

Wondering how to make those cute hasselback potatoes that are in the photos? Watch our video here.

Prepping Smarts:

One trick to maximizing flavor is with this technique below, which we do with any kind of protein:


How to Season & Tenderize Proteins with a Fork

Maximize flavor and tenderize proteins with this little trick.

Vinaigrettes are quick and easy, and can be made in no time at all. Here’s how:


How to Make a Vinaigrette

Vinaigrettes are a wonderful way to dress up not just salads, but proteins and vegetables too, and they're very easy to make.

Equipment Smarts:

Get a similar-to-grill flavor by using a grill pan, especially when it gets too cold to grill outdoors.

All Clad Grill Pan
A skillet will also work, and it’s great and useful to have around in the kitchen.

Lodge Cast Iron Skillet
Of course, you can use a grill whenever you can to get that amazing smoky flavor!

Weber Grill from
For more kitchen and equipment and tool smarts, visit our ‘Essential Kitchen Cookware and Tools’

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Balsamic Steak with Strawberry Arugula Salad

Keep dinner simple and delicious with a tender, juicy steak and side salad that comes together with a quick and easy balsamic vinaigrette.

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 10 min

Total time: 25 min

Serves: 4


  • New York Strip Steak - 1 lb. (Or use flank or strip)
  • Cooking oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Strawberries - 1 pint, sliced
  • Arugula - 5 oz.
  • Balsamic vinegar - 2 1/2 tbsp
  • Dijon mustard - 2 tsp
  • Jam or jelly - 2 tsp (Any fruit jam will work)
  • Mild-flavored oil - 1/4 cup (Like grapeseed, avocado, vegetable)



  1. Make balsamic vinaigrette – Mix together balsamic, Dijon, and jam. Whisk in oil until you get a smooth sauce. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Steak – Season with salt and pepper. Tenderize with a fork. Should be done 1 day ahead. Take steak out of fridge 30 minutes before cooking.
  3. Strawberries – Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)


  1. Outdoor grill: Preheat grill to 500 degrees. Dip a paper towel into oil, and using tongs, rub paper towel against your grill grates. Add steak to hot oiled grill grates and grill steak for ~2 minutes on each side, keeping the lid closed between flipping. For medium-rare (135 degrees), you can take the steak off at this point and let it rest; for medium (140 degrees), cook with lid closed for another 2 to 3 minutes; for well-done (150 degrees), cook for another 5 to 6 minutes.
  2. Stovetop: Heat a grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and then steak to heated oil. Sear on each side for ~3 minutes. For medium-rare (135 degrees), you can take the steak off at this point and let it rest; for medium (140 degrees), lower heat to medium, cover with foil and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes; for well-done (150 degrees), cook for another 5 to 6 minutes.
  3. Toss half of balsamic vinaigrette with arugula and strawberries for salad and use the remainder to drizzle over steak.


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