Spinach Salad with Avocado and Filet Mignon

by Sep 22, 2017

My daughter and I often turn to “steak as condiment rather than main course” when the boys want meat for dinner. It’s a good strategy and one that Il Fornaio employs with their “Insalata Regina”, a main dish salad using arugula, couscous and filet. My version of that salad is over here, (or I should say Betsy’s version!), circa 2011 SF Bay Area.


In today’s post, I simplify that classic salad to just the basics and swap spinach for the arugula. Grill the steak, wash the greens and you’ve got dinner that can be parceled out over a couple hours, which is what we needed last night with a late ballet class and me being off at school’s “Parent Night” until 8. The boys grilled the steak and ate early, Jane and I mixed up the dressing, assembled our salad and ate together once we were home. Some nights that’s the way dinner has to be done.

Spinach Salad with Avocado and Filet Mignon

Servings 2 people


  • 1 8oz. filet mignon, cooked warm, room temperature, or chilled
  • serveral handfuls spinach
  • 1 avocado cubed or sliced
  • 1/4 red onion sliced very thinly
  • 1 tbsp golden raisins
  • 1 tbsp parmesan cheese (Parmigiano-Reggiano) freshly grated or thinly sliced

Salad Dressing

  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard Edmond Fallot brand
  • 1/2 tsp salt Maldon
  • 2 tsp wine vinegar try sherry, or a white balsamic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • a few grinds freshly ground black pepper


  1. Cook the steak to your preference, then set aside to rest. For a 2" steak, that takes a mere 3–4 minutes per side in a ripping hot cast iron pan with a little oil, or same timing on a hot grill. I shoot for 125° F internal temperature, then allow to rest off heat.

  2. Mix the dressing in your salad serving bowl. Start with a dab of Dijon mustard (1/2 teaspoon or so), salt, and wine vinegar. While whisking, drizzle in the olive oil. Taste with a leaf of spinach and adjust to your preference with more vinegar or oil. Add a few grinds of fresh black pepper.

  3. Put the spinach in the salad bowl with the dressing, add the avocado, golden raisins and toss to combine. Plate and top with parmesan and steak slices.  

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