Summertime and the living is easy. Well, at least that is how I feel now that summer school is over. I am so glad I have an oh-so-substantial one week break before the fall semester starts. But for now, let the good times roll…well, after I finish grading this HUGE stack of final exams…
Last night I needed an easy dinner and I needed it FAST! Ina came through again with this recipe which really doesn’t require a recipe at all. Just throw a steak on the barbie (or indoor cast iron grill pan if you are lazy like me), toss some greens in an easily made vinaigrette and Bob’s your uncle! Well, Bob is actually my grandpa but that would mess up the idiom.
Let’s talk rib-eye. Generally, I am not a fan of this cut of meat while my mom, sis, hubby and good proportion of the population happen to call this their favorite cut. I tend to like leaner cuts myself, but because I am a goody-goody rule follower and Ina said to use rib-eye, I used rib-eye. In retrospect, I wish I would have gone with New York strip or filet mignon because I don’t think the cut made the recipe, so do what you want.
Truth be told, until about five years ago I did not eat meat, well, except for chicken and fish. One bad experience eating a Jack n the Box hamburger when I was a kid induced a swearing off all things cow and swine. Fast forward twelve years, I was on my first trip to Colorado to visit my husband’s family for Christmas. Being that they already thought I was a sissy California girl, I didn’t want to make a big deal about my meat aversion. Luck would have it that Omaha Steaks were the star of Christmas Eve dinner. So, right then and there, I decided to jump back on the meat wagon and never looked back! How I went all those years without bacon (and no, turkey bacon is not bacon) I will never know!
Back to the recipe; what really makes this dish is the lemon vinaigrette and the shaved parmesan. Now, please don’t use parmesan from a can or some other pre-shredded or grated crap! Save that for your pizza! Buy a chunk of parmigiano reggiano (imported parmesan from special regions of Italy) and shave big ribbons of it onto the salad. It is SO good and worth the extra cost. Oh, and don’t even think about using lemon juice from a bottle. I may have to hunt you down for that one…
Grilled Steak & Arugula (Courtesy of Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa: How Easy is That?)
- 2 (1-inch-thick) boneless rib-eye steaks
- 1/2 cup good olive oil, plus extra for brushing the steaks
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 8 ounces baby arugula
- 1 (4-ounce) chunk good Parmesan cheese
Prepare a charcoal grill with hot coals or turn a gas grill to medium-high heat.
Brush steaks lightly with olive oil and sprinkle both sides liberally with salt and pepper. Set aside at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk together 1/2 cup olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.
When the grill is ready, place the steaks on the grill. Cook them for 5 minutes on each side and then close the lid making sure the vents are open slightly. Cook 5 to 15 minutes more for medium-rare or until the centers of the steaks register 125 degrees on an instant-read -thermometer. (Here I cooked the steak on my grill pan on the stove, medium high for 5 minutes on each side) Remove to a plate, cover tightly with foil, and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing thickly.
Toss the arugula in a large bowl with enough of the dressing to moisten; divide among 4 plates. Place a half a steak on top of each salad. Shave the Parmesan onto each steak with a vegetable peeler, sprinkle with salt, and serve hot.