Steak Salad with California Olives and Garlic Dressing

I am delighted to be back in the kitchen with California Grown! We created an amazing Steak Salad with Garlic Dressing, made with CA Grown Olives. It’s great for this time of the year. I am a gal that loves to grill, and September is the perfect time for grilling! However, this recipe can be done in the broiler or on the stove.

We made two versions of this Creamy Garlic Dressing–one with dairy and one Whole30 version– so that everyone can enjoy this luscious Magic Elixir. You are going to want to make this again and again. It’s good on steak or chicken, or even as a dipping sauce! Plus, you know how much I love supporting local farmers. So, as a part-time Californian, I was thrilled to use California Grown Olives for this recipe.

Did you know that California produces over 95% of the olives grown in the U.S.? Hundreds of farmers and their families work each year to bring California Ripe Olives from their farms to your table. Harvest generally starts in early September and concludes in mid-November, so we are right in the middle of the harvesting season!

After harvesting, the olives are then sent to one of California’s processing plants where they are sorted, graded, and stored until ready for curing. There are two olive canneries in California, and both are multi-generational family businesses. Who doesn’t love that?

This recipe is really a twofer. In addition to this Creamy Garlic Olive Dressing, we have also included a fabulous salad idea for you to try. Skirt steak, olives, fennel, peppers, and potatoes all come together to create a Celebration Salad that everyone is going to enjoy.

If you try the recipe, rate it and leave a comment below to let me know how it turned out!

Steak Salad with Creamy Garlic Dressing and California Olives

Steak Salad with Creamy Garlic Dressing and California Olives

  • Author: nocrumbsleft
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Category: Salad
  • Diet: Gluten Free


1 pound fingerling potatoes


For the Creamy Garlic California Olive Dressing: (Whole30 version below)

1 cup mayonnaise 

1 cup sour cream

2 garlic cloves, pressed 

¼ cup roughly chopped parsley

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

3 tablespoons lemon juice

Kosher salt to taste, about 2 pinches 

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 

One 6-ounce can California black olives, drained and divided


For the grilled vegetables:

½ pound small bell peppers, whole

1 bulb fennel, cut into 1/8-inch size slices, lengthwise

4 – 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste 


For the meat:

1 ½ pound skirt steak

1 tablespoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 

1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 


For the salad:

4 cups arugula 

½ cup California grown green olives, drained 

2 – 3 English cucumbers, sliced 

Marinated Red Onion Oil 


Parboil the potatoes:

Fill a large pot with water, add salt, and parboil the potatoes for 5 – 7 minutes. Remove and place on a baking sheet to cool completely. Cut the potatoes lengthwise and transfer to a large bowl. Set aside.


Make the Dressing: 

Using a hand mixer or blender, blend the mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic, parsley, chives, lemon juice, salt, olive oil and 2/3 can of the olives until fairly smooth. Then add the remaining olives and pulse for 2 seconds, until the olives jus coarsely chopped for texture. Use immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to a week.


Grill the Vegetables:

Preheat grill to 400F.


Add the sweet bell peppers and fennel to the bowl with the potatoes. Add the olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, and toss to coat completely. Place the peppers, fennel, and potatoes (cut side down) on the grill. Cook until charred, about 4 – 8 minutes a side. Check the vegetables every 3 minutes, as grill temperatures vary. Remove and set aside in a bowl.


Note: If you don’t have small bell peppers, use regular sized peppers. These take 20 – 25 minutes. 


Grill the Meat: 

Place the meat in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine the garlic powder, salt, and pepper, stirring to combine. Pour the olive oil over the steak to coat evenly. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the steak to coat completely. Place the meat on the grill and cook until done, about 3 – 5 minutes a side. Make sure to keep an eye on the grill, as grill temperatures vary. Let rest 10 minutes then cut against the grain. 


Assemble salad: 

Place the arugula on a large platter. Sprinkle with salt. Arrange the remaining items around the platter in sections. Drizzle with the Marinated Red Onion Oil and serve with the dressing. 



For the Whole30 California Olive Dressing:

1½ cup Whole30 Mayo 

2 garlic cloves, pressed

¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

3 tablespoons lemon juice 

Kosher salt to taste, around 2 pinches 

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 

5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 

One 6-ounce can California black olives, drained and divided 


Using a hand mixer or blender, blend the Whole30 Mayonnaise, pressed garlic, parsley, chives, lemon juice, salt, red wine vinegar, olive oil and 2/3 can of olives until smooth. Add the remaining olives and pulse until coarsely chopped. 


Keywords: big salad, steak salad, whole30 salad

Olive Tapenade

Olive Tapenade. Kind of a revelation. Yummy with everything but absolutely delicious with gluten-free bread, a sumac fried egg, arugula, and perhaps some Marinated Red Onions. Try this deliciousness on sweet potato toast, sprinkled over salad, served with meat or any type of protein, like Everyday Roast Chicken Breast, and delightful as a topping with fish. I am a gal who loves a California Grown olive—and over 90% of US olives are grown in California. By the way, this sandwich on toasted gluten free bread with California Ripe olives definitely isn’t Whole30, but I cannot wait to dig into one after my Whole30 ends. Who wants a bite?


Olive Tapenade

  • Author: nocrumbsleft
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: Lunch
  • Diet: Gluten Free



1 six ounce can California Grown green olives, drained and thinly sliced

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 anchovy filets

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 

2 – 3 basil leaves 

1 garlic clove, minced


Place the olives in a small bowl. Set aside.


In a food processor, combine the lemon juice, anchovy filets, olive oil, basil and garlic, and pulse until smooth. Pour over the olives and toss to combine. Serve.

Keywords: Olive Tapenade

2 thoughts on “Steak Salad with California Olives and Garlic Dressing

  1. Steak salad with california olives is such a great combination. Specially the addition of extra virgin olive oil will make it a healthy dish for health conscious people. Thank you for listing it together and share it with us.

  2. Hi! We are making this tonight. I have all prepped. For the marinated onions, we just use the oil drizzled, not the onions, right?
    I did triple the onion recipe your counter onions would be a bit!
    If you can email the reply, I would be grateful.
    Thank you!!
    Betsy Stevenson

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