Charred Focaccia and Steak Salad

Focaccia is the ideal crouton for a dinner salad; it’s tender yet sturdy enough to stand up to bold ingredients like the steak and Calabrian chile in this recipe.

Charred Focaccia and Steak Salad Recipe
Photo: Eric Wolfinger
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
35 mins


  • 1 (8-ounce) strip steak (about 1 1/2 inches thick), trimmed

  • 6 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for grill grates

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, divided, plus more to taste

  • 8 ounces focaccia (preferably day-old), split horizontally

  • 3 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped jarred Calabrian chiles

  • 2 cups watercress, roughly torn

  • 2 cups baby arugula

  • 1 medium heirloom tomato, cut into 11/2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)

  • 3 medium Persian cucumbers, cut into 3/4-inch pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)

  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onion


  1. Preheat grill to very high (about 550°F). Rub steak with 1/2 tablespoon oil; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Place on oiled grates; grill, uncovered, to desired degree of doneness, 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer steak to a cutting board; let rest 10 minutes. Slice against the grain.

  2. While steak rests, brush focaccia pieces evenly with 1 tablespoon oil; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Grill, uncovered, turning often, until crisp and lightly charred all over, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from grill; let cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Tear or cut into 1-inch pieces.

  3. Whisk together vinegar, Calabrian chiles, remaining 5 tablespoons oil, remaining 11/4 teaspoons salt, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon black pepper in a small bowl. Place steak, watercress, arugula, tomato, cucumbers, and onion in a large bowl; add 1/2 cup dressing, and toss to coat. Add focaccia pieces; toss to combine. Let salad stand 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer salad to a large serving bowl; drizzle with remaining dressing.

Make Ahead

Focaccia croutons can be made 1 day ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

Suggested Pairing

Savory, medium-bodied Tuscan red.

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