There are a few select greens that make an incredible salad all by themselves. They are already packed with flavor, so you don’t have to drown them in dressing or salt to make them interesting. Watercress is such a green. Arugula is another. You can make a fantastic meal with just a few ingredients if one of them is watercress or arugula.
Because of its mild peppery bite, watercress pairs wonderfully with steak. Particularly grilled steak. I wouldn’t call this meal a “steak salad” – though I suppose you could. It’s watercress with grilled steak. The watercress deserves to be the headliner, in a way, though avid carnivores might disagree with me. This is no run of the mill salad.
And it’s not just a peppery green. Watercress has been linked with thyroid health and cancer prevention. It’s packed with vitamins, folate, and iron. It’s the type of leafy green Popeye might have eaten if he had ever broadened his horizons.
If you happen to have arugula, of course you can substitute here. Whichever green you choose, get rid of any coarse stems by breaking them off, then wash and dry the leaves well, and you’re already halfway done with your meal preparation. As for the steak, I always heartily recommend organic and grass-fed, but it’s a free country.
Watercress with Grilled Steak (serves 3)
- 1 lb. top sirloin steak
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
- salt and pepper
- 1 bunch of watercress, coarse stems removed
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
1. Get the steak out of the fridge to take the chill off. Preheat grill pan or cast-iron skillet over high heat. Season one side of the steak with 1 tsp oil, a pinch of salt, and a generous grinding of pepper. When the grill is hot, place the seasoned side of the steak down, and season the other side with another 1 tsp of oil, pinch of salt, and grinding of pepper. Reduce heat to medium-high. Cook for about 5-6 minutes per side for medium rare, or to desired doneness.
2. When the steak is done cooking, remove it from the pan and cover with tin foil. Let rest for 5 minutes.
3. While the steak rests, create a bed of watercress on each plate. Drizzle with lemon juice, season lightly with salt, and drizzle with remaining olive oil. (Use your judgment as to the exact quantity, but don’t use a heavy hand).
4. Slice the steak and divide among the watercress beds. Serve.