Rocky Mountain Steak Salad

I had a clam shell of an arugula and spinach mix that needed to be used, penne in the pantry and this recipe bookmarked for months, so no time better than the present to have it for dinner.


We thought this was a delicious pasta dish. A dressing mixture of balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, basil and cilantro was an incredibly exciting flavor combination. The al dente pasta soaked up that bold flavor so it didn’t overwhelm the rest of the dish. The greens and grape tomatoes  brought a party of color to the dish. And the steak? Well, the bites of steaks bathed in that balsamic dressing were delicious. I wouldn’t leave them out next time, as steak is always a treat, however, they seemed to be there just to round out the food groups.


Let’s take a look:

4.0 from 1 reviews
Rocky Mountain Steak Salad
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 1 pound sirloin steak, salt and peppered to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, fine minced
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 8 ounces dry penne pasta
  • ½ C. olive oil
  • ¼ C. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T. Dijon mustard
  • ¾ C. total minced basil and cilantro
  • 2 C. total arugula and spinach leaves
  • 1 - 2 C. grape tomatoes, halved
  1. Season beef with salt and pepper and garlic. In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add beef and cook 7 minutes per side, Remove from heat and let rest. Cut beef into slices and set aside.
  2. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water for 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain pasta, reserving ¼ C. pasta water.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk ½ C. olive oil, balsamic vinegar and mustard. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add herbs.
  4. In a large bowl toss the pasta with half of the dressing and ¼ C. pasta water. Add arugula, tomatoes, beef and toss. Add more dressing to taste. Toss and serve.

Rocky Mountain Steak Salad…It’s What’s for Dinner.

On this day..

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  1. says

    That dressing sounds pretty zippy and the dish looks delicious. I’ve been craving red meat all day – and then you post this yummy recipe. It has to be Kismet, right? That’s the story I’m going with, anyway. 😉

    • Lea Ann says

      That dressing is very “zippy”. Good description. I’ve been craving red meat for two weeks, not sure what’s going on. I usually stick to chicken and fish. You may want to wait for the hamburger recipe I’m getting ready to post. omg

    • Lea Ann says

      I’m like you, so many times I say “why didn’t I think of that”. Guess that’s why we’re both not famous chefn’s :)

  2. says

    Of course I have this book and equally of course is that I’ve never seen this recipe. I seem to find a couple of favorites in a cookbook and then stop there; that’s obviously a big mistake. Though I see how the pasta salad alone would be fabulous…enough so I’m making the dressing in minutes. Very thankful I have cilantro on hand. Very nice!

    • Lea Ann says

      Isn’t it crazy when things like that happen. I see posts from cookbooks that look and sound delicious and think the same thing .. how did I miss that one????

    • Lea Ann says

      Thanks Mick. I used one of your sirloin cuts, which worked fine. I’d be inclined to spend more money next time for some melt in your mouth steak.

  3. says

    Oh yeah, this is my kind of salad. I happen to have arugula, spinach, pasta, grape tomatoes, basil and cilantro and steak just waiting to be transformed! No really, I do have all of it just sitting in my fridge leftover from other recipes! I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  4. says

    This looks so delicious, Lea Ann. I’m just catching up while traveling and can’t believe the snow you have had. We are heading back north now but I don’t think we have snow on the ground at home. It has been a mild winter for us for a change.

    • Lea Ann says

      My back yard still looks like the Arctic Circle… I’ve been enjoying reading about your warm weather trip … believe me.

  5. says

    Oh my, Lea Ann, that is my kind of salad! I love this bowl, just fantastic. My problem with steak salads in most cases is the texture of the steak vs everything else in the salad, so I use real thinly sliced flank steak.

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