Filet Mignon with Pistou and Green Salad / Sarah Crowder / Katie Workman /

Wow, does this dish look classy, right?  But look at the ingredient list – not too long.  And look at the steps – pretty darn simple.

Filet Mignon

My boys love all kinds of steak, though a perfect, tender filet distinctively communicates “special occasion”.  They are no harder to cook than any steak; just make sure to have the temperature high enough in the pan so that the outside gets very nicely seared while the middle remains pink, and be careful not overcook it.  A medium rare filet will have an internal temperature of 130°F.

What is Pistou?

Pistou is an Italian word that often is basically interchangeable with pesto (pistou is French, pesto Italian), though often pistou is made with a looser consistency than pesto, which can be quite thick.  In a pistou sometimes the pine nuts and/or Parmesan are omitted, resulting in a simpler basil, garlic and olive oil sauce. That’s the drizzle you’re going for here, just a pop of herb-infused green olive oil to brighten up that perfect little filet.

Filet Mignon with Pistou and Green Salad: This lightly sauced steak with greens is so simple, but feels super fancy.

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Filet Mignon with Pistou and Green Salad / Sarah Crowder / Katie Workman /

Then all you need is a handful of lightly dressed baby greens on the side and you are in business.

There are so many appealing combinations of greens available either by the pound or in 5-ounce plastic containers in the produce aisle, some with herbs or other add-ins, and it’s an awfully easy way to keep changing up your green salad.

You could also use a more classic pesto recipe, if you preferred, such as this nut-free pesto with Pecorino Romano.

Nut-Free Basil Pesto with Pecorino Romano / Mia / Katie Workman /

What to Serve with Filet Mignon with Pistou and Green Salad:

Round out the meal with the starch of your choice, anything from mashed potatoes to Saffron Couscous to buttered noodles.  

More Steak Recipes to Try:

Filet Mignon with Pistou and Green Salad

This lightly sauced steak with greens is so simple, but feels super fancy.
Yield: 4 People
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 23 minutes


  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves
  • cup plus 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 4 5-ounce filet mignon steaks about 1-inch thick
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 5 ounces mixed baby lettuces


  • Make the pistou: place the garlic cloves in a small food processor, and mince. Add the basil and process again to chop, then add ⅓ cup of the olive oil, salt and pepper and blend until it becomes a bright green sauce.
  • Season the steak generously with salt and pepper. Heat a large heavy skillet, such as cast iron, over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, and when the oil is hot, sear the steak for 3 to 4 minutes on each side for medium rare. Remove the steaks to a cutting board and let them rest for 5 minutes before serving.
  • While the meat is resting, in a large bowl combine the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir to combine, add the lettuce and toss.
  • Serve the filets with a drizzle of the pistou on top, and a couple of handfuls of the dressed mixed greens. Pass the rest of the pistou on the side for extra drizzling.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 556kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 49g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 99mg | Sodium: 74mg | Potassium: 490mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 336IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 4mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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