This steak, pear and watercress salad is a great example of how a handful of fresh spring ingredients can come together into a quick and delicious meal.

I’d like to know who reading this can walk into Target, stay focused and only walk out of the store with only what they came in for? If so, you win at life.

Steak, pear and watercress salad with shallot vinaigrette
This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Cooking Light and Real Simple, but all my opinions are my own.

I, however, fail miserably.

What started as a mission to simply purchase some spring recipe inspiration from Real Simple and Cooking Light turned into oooh, a cute new bathing suit since I’m currently in Florida right now, a fun loose tank top, an almost purchase of jean shorts (until I realized they cover about 2 inches of my thigh and that might be a little ambitious after mine have been hiding behind sweatpants for 6 months and eating handfuls of m&ms at night on the couch while watching Suits a few too many times), deodorant (at least that one’s practical) and a workout top on clearance (I can never pass up workout clothes on sale).

So, $80 or so later instead of $10, I left with my magazines and other necessities in tow.

Watercress salad with steak and pears
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There’s something about an actual magazine in my hand that’s way more inspiring than pinterest could ever be.

Full page spreads of spring and bright colors are just way more enticing than a little square picture on a computer screen.

So when I saw this watercress salad in Cooking Light, I knew it had to be made.

It just screamed spring, looked super simple and was an all around healthy meal.

I have a love hate relationship with watercress.

Every time I buy it from my little local produce store, I get home, wash it and find multiple bugs (even a wormy looking slug thing once) floating around in the salad spinner.

Yeah I know, that’s nature, plants grow in dirt.

I can handle bugs but worm looking things in my salad is just a step too far.

I once found a green inch worm thingy in my salad in high school (the one time I didn’t get pizza + fries from the cafeteria), freaked out, took it up to the lunch lady demanding justice and she just looked at me like I was nuts and offered a free ice cream.

So this time around, I splurged and bought watercress already bagged and triple washed for about 3x the price.

Worth it for the peace of mind that I won’t be chewing on a slug while dining.

And you can use it for other things like this peach and cherry watercress salad or as a nutritious green base for smoothies.

Did you know watercress is actually a cruciferous green and boasts over 100% of the daily requirements for vitamin K in just one cup? Impressive, right?

Steak and pear watercress salad with shallot dressing

If there’s one thing I’m most excited about when it comes to spring finally being here, it’s the food. Spring food is so fresh and fun.

Although, the leaves on the trees, flowers, fresh smell in the air and warmer temps are a verrrrry close second.

With the change in season it seems that my body just craves simple, fresh, light meals.

No more hearty chilis, soups and stews needed to keep warm, a simple watercress steak salad will do.

We enjoyed this one with the windows open, the fresh (50 degree or so) air blowing into the kitchen and the birds chirping.

I made the skirt steak inside on a grill pan because I hadn’t refilled our propane for the grill yet. Another option is to air fry the skirt steak if you have an air fryer. It’s super quick and easy and less messy than a stovetop grill pan if outdoor grilling isn’t an option. Skirt steak is actually one of a few cheap cuts of meat that’s great for grilling so we tend to eat it a lot during the season.

Looking for more simple salad recipes like this?

Try this mizuna lettuce salad, my purple tatsoi salad with creamy tahini dressing or this roasted sunchoke salad.

All can be enjoyed as they are or with the delicious steak from this salad on top as well for a more filling meal.

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Steak Pear and Watercress Salad

Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 8 minutes
Total: 18 minutes
This steak, pear and watercress salad is a great example of how a handful of fresh spring ingredients can come together into a quick and delicious meal.


  • 2 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 12 ounce flank steak, I used skirt steak, they’re pretty interchangeable
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 small shallot, chopped
  • 8 ounces watercress, or arugula, I used a combination of both
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 peeled ripe pear, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese
  • chopped walnuts, *my addition that I used for garnish


  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 tablespoon olive oil to the pan. Season the steak with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add the steak to the pan and cook for about 3-4 minutes per side until it reaches your desired doneness. Transfer steak to a cutting board and let sit 5 minutes before slicing.
  • Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, sherry vinegar and shallot in a mini food processor and process until fully incorporated and almost smooth.
  • Arrange the watercress on serving plates, top with onion and pear. Divide the steak among the plates, top with the blue cheese crumbles and walnuts if using. Drizzle the dressing on top and serve.


*From Cooking Light


Serving: 1SERVINGCalories: 319kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 27gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 70mgSodium: 519mgFiber: 3gSugar: 7g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Salads
Cuisine: American

Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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  1. What a perfect salad! This looks beautiful and perfect! Steak salads are often forgotten about, but so good!

    Ewwww that is so gross about the slugs….I have never looked…..hopefully I havent eaten any yet….or ever!

  2. I love how messy your styling for this salad it. Reminds me of my kitchen pretty much 95% of the time…a delicious mess!

  3. This is a great combination of flavors. And your styling is beautiful. I can’t just buy a few things from Target either.

  4. Oohh…pears and steak! What a great idea! That’s a combo I haven’t tried before
    I love the styling of this…you’re so good at that!
    P.s Target? Yes, I try to avoid it. I always buy ALL THE THINGS.