Steak Salad with Fresh Summer Berries


Berry season is here! Whether you pick raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries,  marionberries, or huckleberries, the Northwest is the place to be for the next two months. Grocery stores, farm stands and fields are so loaded with options, the hardest thing for you is just deciding what to choose. Every single one of them is juicy, sweet and vividly colored. (Pick them all!) Besides being delicious, they are good for you, too. Full of vitamin C, folic acid, fiber and antioxidants, berries deliver a bevy of benefits. They will add a vibrant pop of color and a summery splash of flavor to your meals. Eat your fill and get them while you can. 

I was so mesmerized with the bounty of berries that I just couldn’t help myself when we moved here 30 years ago. We lived close to Bi-Zi and Parsons Farms, and the sight of fresh berries was so exciting, I would pull over and buy a flat (or two) every time I drove by. I would rinse a few in the small sink they were nice enough to let me use, then give each of our kids a basket to eat on the way home. It was only about a mile, but they would eat the whole thing, their little faces stained with purple juice when we got home.

I started making this Steak Salad with Fresh Summer Berries back in 2000-something. I discovered it in a magazine and found it so quick, easy and delicious that we ate it on heavy rotation all summer long. Plus, it was a good way to use up some of those berries I kept buying. Sometimes I would vary the protein and use chicken, but it would also be good with tofu or edamame if you’d like to keep this plant-based. For extra ease, use any bottled teriyaki sauce that you like. Or, follow the easy recipe below to save money and make your own. 

Made from pantry ingredients that you already have on hand, this Teriyaki Sauce only takes a few minutes, and because you make it yourself, it has no preservatives. You can control the amount of added sugar and salt, as well as adjust it to keep it gluten-free. Use any thickener that you like: cornstarch, flour, or arrowroot. You can make it up to one week ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Make an extra batch for your freezer, too. Allow the sauce to cool completely, then transfer to a freezer-safe bag. Lay the bag flat to ensure it freezes evenly. 

Use any neutral oil you like: vegetable, canola, grapeseed, avocado, safflower, or sunflower. Because of it’s health benefits, I used a light olive oil in both the marinade and the Ginger-Balsamic Dressing. You won’t be able to discern its flavor among the teriyaki ingredients, so don’t be afraid get some healthy benefits and try it yourself. Combine the dressing ingredients to your liking. I used 2 tablespoons of each, balsamic vinegar and olive oil, 1 tablespoon of teriyaki sauce, and a heaping 1/2 teaspoon of fresh grated ginger. 

Get out you best berry bowl and enjoy the sweet summer bounty. The feast is just beginning. 

Steak Salad with Fresh Summer Berries

  • 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 1/2 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil 
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 1/2 pounds flank steak 
  • 8 cups spring mix (baby lettuce and baby greens)
  • 3 cups fresh berries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and halved strawberries
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves, broken and toasted
  • Ginger-Balsamic Dressing (recipe follows)

Add teriyaki sauce, balsamic vinegar, oil and garlic to a large resealable bag and stir to combine. Score both sides of steak in a diamond pattern, then transfer steak to bag with marinade. Press air out of bag and close top securely. Turn bag over several times to coat steak. Refrigerate 2 hours, turning bag over once.

Remove steak from marinade; discard marinade. Grill steak over medium-high heat, turning over once, until medium-rare, about 10 minutes. Remove from grill and cover lightly with foil; let rest 5 minutes. Holding knife at a slight angle, cut steak across grain into 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick slices. 

Divide spring mix between 4 serving plates. Arrange steak slices on top of greens and top with fresh berries and pecans. Serve with Ginger-Balsamic Dressing. 

Ginger-Balsamic Dressing

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 Tablespoons teriyaki sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root

Combine balsamic vinegar, oil, teriyaki sauce and ginger root in a small bowl and whisk together. 

-adapted from


Teriyaki Sauce

  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce (or tamari for gluten-free)
  • 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch plus 2 teaspoons water, mixed together to make a slurry
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional) 

Add all of the sauce ingredients to a small saucepan set over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil about 1 minute, or until sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Donna Ferguson

Donna Ferguson

I love to cook, garden, and write about all the things in Vancouver and the Northwest that make life so great.

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