I love eating salads for dinner in summer. They are simple and most often times do not require an oven. I always feel healthier when I eat them (even when they aren't necessarily healthy lol). This steakhouse salad is light and fresh all while being super filling, with an amazing honey lemon vinaigrette that will be your go-to homemade salad dressing recipe.
This steakhouse salad is not some side salad, this is a meal. A glorious super flavorful grilled beef tenderloin, crispy prosciutto, grilled or roasted tomatoes, grilled asparagus and hearty romaine all tossed together with a homemade vinaigrette. Salads for dinner like my thai chicken salad with noodles and best ever farro salad are great main courses for dinner or lunch, and this is steakhouse salad is definitely on that list.
Why are steakhouse salads so good?
Want your salad to actually taste like it came from a steakhouse? Yeah, me too. They are so damn delicious. Well I will tell you this much, steakhouse salads in restaurants taste so good because they are properly and heavily seasoned.
That's right, and not just seasoned at the end or topped with a well-seasoned dressing. The leafy greens are seasoned too, and a little salt and pepper is just what a salad needs to really make it stand out.
Ingredients for the steakhouse salad
- Beef tenderloin. This is after all a steakhouse salad, so the steak is kind of a given. I like the texture of beef tenderloin for a salad, plus, I am going for something a bit healthier. But honestly use whatever kind of steak you like or have. The real point of this is to make a quality steak dinner light and a bit healthy.
- Prosciutto. Crisp it up in a frying pan for a good salty crunch.
- Asparagus. This is a vegetable I often served grilled up alongside steak, and it helps to bulk up this salad to be a meal.
- Roasted or grilled tomatoes. They are in season in summer and add a great acidic brightness to this steakhouse salad.
- Romaine lettuce
How to make homemade honey lemon vinaigrette dressing
Making homemade vinaigrette for any salad recipe is not as hard as you think. You basically need three main parts, and then you can make up the rest:
- Part 1. Acid. Vinegar or citrus juice or a mix of both.
- Part 2. Oil. I am not a fan of straight-up only olive oil in my dressings - I think it is too strong and overwhelms the whole dish. I like maybe one part olive oil to two parts either vegetable oil or my personal favorite avocado oil (has really nothing overwhelming about it).
- Part 3. Something sweet. Be it sugar (white or brown) or my go-to in dressing, honey. And this is the one element of dressing that I didn't realize was necessary and took me literally like 10 times of trying and varying made-up recipes to figure out. When I really think about it, I can't believe it took me this long to figure it out - I mean, all dressing that I make from someone else's recipes have some kind of sweet element - even if it is just the tiniest amount...it adds a depth to the dressing that I guarantee, if you are making dressing at home and you can't seem to get it quite right, is missing from your recipe. Start with a small amount and taste as you go, adding if you like.
Then you just add whatever else you like…dijon? Sure. Any herbs at all - yes please. Garlic? Absolutely. Capers, sundried tomatoes, cheese, literally anything else to make a dressing your own. And DO NOT forget salt…I guess that should be one of the basic parts above, but I feel like that is a given, but ya never know, so..SALT always.
This steakhouse salad went great with this homemade dressing, but I have also used with chicken and farro salad with mixed vegetables too.
Ingredients for the honey lemon vinaigrette
- Olive oil. Most of my homemade dressings are not made entirely with olive oil because I think it can be overpowering, but nothing compares to it's flavor, so I always include some olive oil.
- Avocado or other neutral oil. I like avocado oil because it is healthy(ish) and also mild in flavor (if really any flavor at all).
- Lemon juice. Freshly squeezed, please.
- Red wine vinegar.
- Honey. This creates the perfect balance with the vinegar and lemon.
- Dijon mustard
- Fresh herbs. This is what really makes this dressing light and bright, I like to use rosemary and oregano because I think it goes so well with the steak, but if you were making this dressing to have with other things, oregano, dill, tarragon and basil would all be excellent choices. Use what you have and what you like.
Tips for success
- If you don't have prosciutto on hand or available, any other salty meat will do just fine. And by that I mean, bacon or salami or pancetta. Go with what you have. Just make sure to fry them up crispy- this kind of acts like the crouton does in other salads, for some crunchy texture.
- Don't overdo the honey lemon vinaigrette. A drenched, soggy salad isn't really where it's at. You want lightly dressed, with the honey lemon vinaigrette adding to the flavors and complimenting them, not taking over the entire salad.
- Add the vinaigrette and toss right as you are going to serve. This will keep the salad greens nice and crisp.
Have fun with salads. I think there is no 'follow exactly' in cooking, it is all about adapting some things to what you have on hand and what you like. And this especially goes with salads. Don't like asparagus? Use green beans or roasted carrots or baby broccoli instead. Love a good crouton? Make a great thick sourdough crouton and toss it in. Add cheese! While the photos don't show it - because I don't eat it - my husband's steakhouse salad was covered in crumbled blue cheese, and he LOVED it! Make it what you want!
- large salad bowl
For the salad
- 4 Beef filet or tenderloin cooked to your liking
- 10 slices Prosciutto crisped up in a frying pan
- 2 Tomatoes Roasted or grilled
- 1 lb Asparagus grilled
- 8 cups Romaine lettuce cut into large pieces
For the honey lemon vinaigrette
- ½ cup avocado oil
- 2 tablespoon of olive oil
- 3 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 3 teaspoon honey
- 3 tablespoon fresh herbs I used oregano and rosemary, but use what you like
- Salt and black pepper to taste
Make the honey lemon vinaigrette
- Whisk all ingredients together until blended. Cannot get any simpler than that!
Assemble the salad
- Place romaine on the bottom of a large bowl, top with remaining ingredients. Pour dressing over the top (this is subjective - start with less dressing and see how it goes) and toss together. Add more dressing and toss again if you prefer a heavier dressed salad. Finish with a little salt (used smoked salt if you have it, it is THE BEST finishing salt ever) and some pepper.