Tuesday, May 3, 2011

May 3: Steaks with Two Tapenades, Arugula Salad, and Crusty Bread

1/2 cup pitted kalamata black olives
1 tin of flat anchovy fillets, drained
3 tablespoons capers, drained
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 lemons
3 jarred roasted red bell peppers, drained
3 rounded tablespoons prepared basil pesto

8 (1-inch thick) medallions of beef tenderloin, or 4 New York strip steaks, 8 to 10 ounces each and 1 inch thick, at room temperature
   Extra-virgin olive oil, for liberal drizzling
   Coarse salt and coarse black pepper
4 to 5 cups trimmed, washed, and dried arugula
4 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano, shaved with a vegetable peeler
   Crusty bread, warmed in a low oven until crisp

In a food processor, grind the olives with the anchovies, capers, 1/3 cup of the parsley, and the juice of 1/2 lemon. Scrape into a small ramekin or dish and wash and dry the processor bowl.

Preheat a heavy skillet over high heat.

Place the red peppers, pesto, the zest of 1 lemon, and 1/3 cup of the parsley in the processor bowl and grind. Scrape the red pepper paste into another ramekin.

Drizzle the steaks with EVOO and season with salt and pepper on both sides. When the skillet is screaming hot, cook the steaks for 2 minutes on each side for rare, 3 on each side for medium rare, 4 minutes on each side for medium to medium well. Let the meat stand for 5 to 10 minutes for the juices to redistribute in the meat.

Toss the arugula and the remaining 1/3 cup of parsley leaves with the juice of the zested lemon. Squeeze the lemon with the cut side up to keep the seeds from falling into the bowl. Drizzle the greens liberally with EVOO and season them with salt and pepper. Add the shaved cheese to the greens.

Serve the steaks with wedges of the remaining lemon half to squeeze over the top. Pass the tapenades at the table for topping the steaks. Serve the greens and warm, crusty bread alongside the steaks.


This was a very good steak dinner. It's one of Rachael Ray's "simple Italian steak suppers." The steak was very good, although I ate most of it with A-1 sauce. The olive tapenade was too pungent for me, but DH and Susanna really liked it. Leah and I liked the pepper/pesto one better. I didn't look close enough at the recipe when buying the ingredients. I just had grated Parmesan cheese instead of a block of it to shave it. Also, I didn't buy the parsley, so I just used some of my greens instead. Same with the arugula. I bought some new bread - brown sweet wheat bread. It was really good and complimented the meal really well. I cooked the meat for about 10-12 minutes on each side, and still had to butterfly my husband's to get it cooked all the way through. He won't eat it if it has even the slightest pink in the center. I halved the recipe because the steaks are so expensive. It was plenty for the 4 of us. Oh, and I ran out of black olives, so I had to use my green olives.

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