This dinner salad plays fast and loose with the elements of a steakhouse steak salad; pesto; and tagliata, the Italian combo of sliced grilled steak, arugula, lemon, and shaved Parmesan. The result is crunchy, bright, hearty, garlicky, salty, familiar—but entirely new and fun too. The star is a crusty browned, medium-rare steak; to get there with ease, turn the steak every minute (really!). You can also grill the steak using the same technique, but during the first few turns, let the steak release naturally from the grate instead of prying it off.
Instead of blitzing nuts, Parmesan, basil, garlic, and oil into a smooth pesto, the nuts and garlic are chopped together for a rich and crunchy sauce (sort of like a garlicky, nutty French aillade); the Parmesan curls on top like in tagliata; and the basil gets promoted to salad green. By separating and dispersing pesto’s components throughout the salad, each bite is loud, punchy, and different from the next, which is all we really want from a salad, isn’t it? —Ali Slagle
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cup raw pine nuts or walnuts
boneless New York strip or rib-eye steaks (at least 1" thick; about 1½ lb. total), patted dry
tsp. Diamond Crystal or ¼ tsp. Morton kosher salt, plus more
Freshly ground black pepper
Tbsp. plus ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
heads of Little Gem lettuce or 2 heads of romaine lettuce, leaves torn into bite-size pieces if large
cups basil leaves