Arugula Steak Salad with Farro Recipe features savory grilled steak served on a bed of peppery arugula with a flavorful dressing, plus farro grain for extra substance.
This arugula steak salad recipe is a happy accident!
I had grilled some steak one night, and had a bit leftover. I put it away with a bit of farro and salad that we also had left, and it made a perfect lunch! I figured I should come back and make arugula steak salad recipe on purpose and feature it here on Cooking Chat. So here you go!
What Makes This Dish Work?
This arugula steak salad recipe plays up some contrasting flavors to make the dish really sing.
Savory steak rests upon a bed of peppery arugula greens. This contrasting core elements of the dish are enhanced by tossing the greens in a dressing that has a bit of sweetness, along with a touch of paprika spice. The steak rub has some cinnamon, which is also balance the flavor of the peppery greens.
Our son had a “deconstructed” version of the dish–steak, farro and greens eaten separately. He loved the steak with this rub!
Making Arugula Steak Salad
This Arugula Steak Salad is a fairly simple recipe, but you are bringing together a few items to make the dish, so some organizing your workflow will make it come together nicely.
Get the farro cooking, then start prepping the salad. I make the dressing first, then turn to getting the steak prepped. This gives the steak some time to absorb the rub as you work on the other components.
After the steak is prepped, you can finish preparing the arugula salad. This may be obvious if you’ve spent any time in the kitchen — but for any rookies reading this, be sure to wash your hands carefully after handling raw meat prior to moving on to others steps.
After tossing the arugula with the dressing, you can add the farro to the arugula if it is ready. Note that if the farro is still warm, it will wilt the arugula a bit. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if you don’t want wilting of the arugula, let the farro get cooled off before adding it.
Start the steak when you’ve got the arugula and farro ready. As the steak cooks, you can plate the greens, so all you need to do is top the arugula with slices of grilled steak when it is ready.
Wine Pairing for Arugula Steak Salad
Steak typically calls for a bold red wine, and the peppery arugula immediately made me think of a Zinfandel. So I picked up a bottle of 2015 La Storia Zinfandel ($22, 14.9% ABV) to go with our arugula steak salad.
- Color: Deep dark red in the glass.
- Nose: A whiff of violets on the nose.
- Body: Full bodies, with soft tannins and pleasant mouthfeel.
- Palate: Plum fruit, with a bit of chocolate and cinnamon spice.
- Pairing: The wine is fruit forward, working well with the salad. The notes of cinnamon work nicely with the steak rub. Definitely a good pairing.
La Storia Zinfandel is from Sonoma’s Alexander County, produced by Trentadue Winery. I hadn’t come across Trentadue in awhile, but recall early in my wine journey finding they were one of my favorites at the Boston Wine Festival. Influenced me to grab the bottle out of a lineup that include quite a few Zin options.
Looking through a bunch of Zins, I was blown away at how high the alcohol content is getting on some of them. I saw one clocking in at 15.8%! I find it hard to believe such a bottle would be food friendly. But the 14.9% ABV La Storia was well made and didn’t overpower the meal.
I considered picking up a Syrah for this dish, in part because I saw a bottle from Qupe, a producer I like. If you didn’t want to go with a Zin here, I would consider Syrah or perhaps a GSM (Grenache, Syrah Mourvedre) blend. A Malbec is one more idea to consider. If you make this and try a good pairing, please me know in the comments!Print
Arugula Steak Salad with Farro
Savory grilled steak served on a bed of peppery arugula with a flavorful dressing, plus farro grain for extra substance.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 25 mins
- Total Time: 35 mins
- Yield: 3 servings 1x
- Category: Salad
- Method: grilling
- Cuisine: American
For the farro:
- 1 cup farro, rinsed
- 2 cups water
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
For the arugula salad:
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- ½ tbsp maple syrup
- generous pinch of paprika
- 3 cups baby arugula leaves
- 1 tbsp feta cheese
- 1 tbsp toasted pumpkin seeds
For the steak:
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 lb sirloin steak (or other lean cut)
- Start cooking the farro: Bring the water to a boil, then add the farro grain. Simmer covered on medium low heat until the water has been absorbed, about 20 minutes. Work on other steps as the farro cooks. When the farro is cooked, set it aside to cool a bit.
- Make the salad dressing: in a small bowl, combine the 2 tablespoons olive oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and paprika.
- Prep the steak: Preheat grill to medium high. Take the steak out of the refrigerator. Make a rub for the steak by combining the garlic powder, salt and cinnamon in a small bowl. Pat the steak dry, then lay it on a large plate. Sprinkle half of the rub on one side of the steak, and rub into the meat. Turn the steak over and repeat the process. Let the steak sit with the rub at room temperature for at least 10 minutes as you work on other components of the dish.
- Prep the arugula: place the arugula in a large salad bowl. Add the feta cheese, and gently toss the greens with the dressing. Add one cup of the cooked farro to the arugula, and gently toss to combine. Top with pumpkin seeds.
- Grill the steak: Place the steak on the grill, and cook on direct heat for 6 minutes. Flip the steak over, and grill for another 6 minutes for medium rare. When the steak is ready, remove from the grill onto a large platter. Let the steak rest for a few minutes, then slice about ½ inch thick.
- Plate the salad: Divide the arugula salad onto your serving plate. Top each salad with 3 or 4 strips of the grilled steak. You are now ready to enjoy!
- You could substitute other grains such as quinoa, bulgur or brown rice for the farro.
- The recipe calls for sirloin steak, but other lean cuts such as flank steak would work too.
- I toss salad greens with my hands to keep the greens and good shape and evenly distribute the dressing. Start with about half the dressing, then add more as needed to fully coat but not overwhelm the greens.
- You may have a bit extra of the farro and/or steak that you can save for later use, or someone at the table might want more of one or both!
Keywords: main dish salads, arugula salad, salads with meat, steak salad