When you’re a kid, spring and summer stretch out endlessly. Each day is perfection, filled sunshine and free time. But suddenly, you realize your childhood is long gone and perfect days like these have almost vanished with it. I’m talking about days when the weather is gorgeous, there’s no where you absolutely have to be, and nothing you can’t put off doing until tomorrow. When these gems of days (or even just an afternoon or evening) roll around, you’ve got to seize them–head to the backyard, grab a lawn chair, and fully soak up the perfection.
Now, obviously, we have to eat and days like this call for simplicity. Delicious simplicity–nothing complicated and nothing that’s going to keep us standing in the kitchen when we should be kicking up our feet outside. We want something inherently good, like a grilled steak. We can dress it for perfection with a salsa verde that’ll be put together in less than 2 minutes.
Before we go on, I should remind you this an Italian salsa verde and not to be confused with a spicy Mexican green salsa. No tomatillos or jalepeños, just a green sauce made with a bunch of fresh herbs, garlic, capers, and olive oil. Think pesto with fewer rules.
Alright, we’ll get this rolling so you can get back to your lawn chair and refreshing beverage.
Light up the grill and head inside for a few minutes to make the sauce. Raid the fridge for fresh herbs. I’m using tons of parsley and a few sprigs of tarragon. Toss the herbage in your food processor along with a couple of garlic cloves, shallot, walnuts, capers, and anchovies. Pulse it into a thick paste then loosen it up with a few glugs of olive oil and season with lemon, vinegar, and red pepper flakes. Done!
Head back outside with sauce and steak in hand. I picked a NY strip because it’s my favorite to grill. Season the steak with salt and plenty of coarse black pepper and throw it on the barbecue. Grill it until it’s done the way you like, then let it rest under foil for a few minutes while you dress a bowl of arugula.
Plate the greens. Arrange the steak over the salad, liberally spoon salsa verde over the top, and add a few shavings of Parmesan. Pop a bottle of wine, enjoy, relax, and work on devising a scheme to make these kinds of days come around more often.
- FOR THE SALSA VERDE
- 1 c. Italian Parsley Leaves
- 2 Tbsp. Tarragon Leaves
- 2 cloves Garlic, roughly chopped
- ½ medium Shallot, roughly chopped
- 2 Anchovy Fillets, rinsed and roughly chopped
- 3 Tbsp. Capers, rinsed
- ¼ c. Walnuts, chopped
- pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
- zest of 1 Lemon
- 1-2 tsp. Red Wine Vinegar
- ¼ c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- FOR THE STEAK
- New York Strip Steak (or your favorite cut)
- Kosher Salt & Coarse Black Pepper
- FOR THE SALAD
- Baby Arugula
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Fresh Lemon Juice
- Parmesan Cheese
- Light the grill. I use a charcoal Weber.
- Place all of the salsa verde ingredients except the vinegar and olive oil in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until a thick paste forms. Stir in the vinegar to taste and stir in the olive oil to make it a more fluid sauce. Season, as needed, with salt and black pepper.
- Season the steak with salt and pepper and grill over hot coals, 4-5 minutes per side for a medium-rare steak. Remove steak from grill, place on cutting board, and tent for 5 minutes while you dress the salad.
- Just barely dress the arugula with olive oil, lemon, and a touch of salt and pepper. Divide between plates. Slice the steak against the grain and fan it out over the salad. Spoon the salsa verde over the top of the steaks and use a vegetable peeler to shave parmesan over the plate.