All week I’ve been reading “tweets” and food blog posts about how spring is in the air and on the dinner table inspired by the produce and fruit in the vegetable aisle and the beautiful weather outside. This post by FabFrugalFood almost convinced me that it was true – the soup looks and sounds so delightfully fresh and sunny. But then I looked outside and sadly, it’s all just a ruse. Here in Northern California, it is cold, windy, gray, and wet.
But on many days I am an eternal optimist so I’ve decided to post my idea of a fresh-looking spring dinner – grilled steak on a bed of arugula. It’s so easy to prepare you can do it on a super busy weeknight. But it’s so colorful on the serving platter, that you could easily serve it for a dinner party or on an extravagant buffet.
In Italy, this dish is called Tagliata. I originally saw a recipe for this years ago in Sunset Magazine and then last year I attended a cooking class at Sur La Table and they did a version of it that night with a few “kicked-up” additions including fried capers, rosemary and garlic infused olive oil, and balsamic reduction glaze. Honestly, though, if you enjoy the basic elements of the dish, no need to add much to it to surprise and delight your taste buds. Each element, if fresh and flavorful on its own, will marry together for a wonderful taste that requires no bells and whistles.
Here’s the basic method — you can customize it yourself for your family’s personal tastes.
(adapted from Sunset Magazine and Sur La Table’s The Essentials of Tuscan Cooking class with Nikki B. Frias)
- 1 box/bag/bunch of fresh arugula (I’ve used spinach in a pinch and the dish still wowed everyone but arugula is the best choice)
- Choice of steak – flank, rib eye, New York strip, sirloin – about 1 lb will do it for 4 people because you slice it up
- Olive oil
- Fresh parmesan cheese
- Fresh Tomatoes
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Salt and Pepper
- Lemon wedges
Brush the steak with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Grill the steak in a grill pan or outside on your grill if the weather permits. If you prefer your steak medium rare, it will only take 3 – 5 minutes per side depending on the thickness of your cut of steak.
Spread the arugula on your serving platter. Salt and pepper it to your liking. If you are using tomatoes, cut those up and display around the edges of the platter.
Once your steak is cooked to your desired doneness, remove it from the pan and let it rest for at least 5 minutes to allow the juices to remain in the meat. If you slice it right away, you’ll lose all the juices onto the cutting board.
While your steak is resting, drizzle olive oil and balsamic all over arugula. Next, spread your fresh parmesan shavings all over and then a squeeze of lemon juice if you like. Slice the steak across the grain and display down the center of the bed of arugula. Add a bit more salt and pepper, olive oil, balsamic, and parmesan if you’d like.
You can serve a fresh crusty loaf of Italian bread with this and you’re all set. The better your steak, olive oil, balsamic, and parmesan, the more flavor you will get out of the dish. But honestly, no matter how I’ve served it, it’s always a hit. And if you are eating gluten free or low carb, this dish fits your needs perfectly.
Is spring in the air where you live? Please share your favorite dishes to celebrate springtime at your home.