As demonstrated by the recipes that I’ve featured on this blog thus far, I don’t eat a whole lot of red meat. During the week, we try to coook mostly seafood and vegetarian meals–and perhaps incorporate in a bit of poultry here or there. But, every once in a while, I (or my husband) really feel the need for a good steak or hamburger. This past Tuesday was one of those times. A few weeks ago, I experimented with making a pistachio butter to go with scallops, and it hit me that I could fuse my tried and true recipe for pesto with the pistachio butter recipe…and that this might pair really nicely with steak as well. The summer squash was on special at the grocery store, and it seemed like that would make a nice side. So, folks here are the results. It was super easy and took only 25 minutes to make from beginning to end, and I have to say that we were rather pleased with the outcome.
The Ingredients for the Steak & Pesto
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. olive oil
3 cups fresh basil
1/2 cup shelled pistachios
4 cups fresh basil
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. dijon mustard
1 tbsp. honey
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 lb. top sirloin steak
* a dash of sriracha sauce (optional)
* 1 tbsp. parmesan (optional)
The Ingredients for the Lemony Summer Squash
2 summer squash or zucchini
1 small onion (Serves 2 – 3 people)
I started by making the pistachio pesto. Typically most pestos contain pine nuts, but the addition of the pistachios make them uneccesary and add a bit of zest. Start by washing the basil and tearing the leaves from the stems until you have approximately 3 cups of basil (No need to compress the leaves while measuring.). Add it to the food processor or blender. (If you’re in the market for either item, you should know that Cuisinart makes a combo appliance–which is a great space saver and more affordable than buying two devices.) Then, dump in 1/2 cup of olive oil and the shelled pistachios.
Next, add the dijon mustard, honey, salt, pepper, and soy sauce. You can also add a few squirts of sriracha sauce if you’d like to give the pesto a little kick, but it’s not essential. Same goes for the parmesan–it’s optional. Add one tablespoon of it if you like a thicker pesto.
Puree until you have a green paste the consistency of a pasta sauce. If you like your pesto on the thick side, you can reduce the amount of oil in the mixture and/or add more basil and/or parmesan or pistachios. Likewise, if you want this to be closer to a sauce, you can add a little more oil.
Set the pesto aside. Slice the summer squash into quarter-inch circular pieces.
Cut the onion into thick circular slices.
Slice the steak against the grain into one-inch thick pieces. Slicing against the grain makes the meat more tender because it shortens the long muscle strands.
Add one tablesppon of oil to a frying pan or sauce pan and bring to medium heat. Convert the zucchini to the pan. Cook for three minutes, periodically tossing with tongs or a spatula. Then add the onion slices. Squeeze the juice of the entire lemon over the vegetables. Continue to toss or fold the squash and onions from time to time for another five minutes or until the onion softens and squash begins to lightly brown on the edges. Remove from heat.
Meanwhile, add the remaining tablespoon of oil to another frying pan and bring to medium heat. Add the steak to the pan. Cook for ten minutes or until the steak is as you like it. We prefer ours medium rare.
Finally, create a bed of pesto on a plate.
Arrange the slices of steak on top of the pesto, and transfer the squash and onions to the plate on the side.
That’s it. Now, put it in your tummy!
*** “From My Tiny Kitchen” is a series addressing the most frequent challenges that city dwellers face when whipping up a meal. These recipes may feature exotic ingredients (given that they are usually accessible in major cities), but offer culinary solutions for anyone short on time, money, and space.