When it's time to grill, the one thing I crave most is a great big steak. I'm talking a massive 16-ounce, one-inch thick monster. Accept no substitutes. One of these guys can easily feed two, and I actually still had leftovers. Steak and charcoal are quite fond of each other so I didn't need to look hard for a recipe. I just used the instructions for cooking a steak in Bobby Flay's Grill It! which amounted to cooking it over high-heat for about five minutes per side. What hung me up was the pairing part.
I had a glut of tomatoes and basil, so those two had to be involved. I found this recipe in the Chicago Tribune, which tops grilled thick tomatoes with a spoonful of pesto. My plan was to serve the tomatoes and pesto next to the steak to create a fresh sauce—it worked beautifully.
The fresh pesto lightened up the meal and the tomatoes added a much needed acid. Sure a steak served alone is always a treat, but this is a great way to spruce up the simple meal with the summer bounty.
- 1 16-ounce strip steak (about 1-inch thick)
- 2 large Brandywine tomatoes
- Salt and black pepper
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
Bring a charcoal grill, gas grill, or grill pan to high heat. Meanwhile, make the pesto. Place the pine nuts in a non-stick skillet set over medium high heat. When they are fragrant and slightly browned transfer them to a food processor. Add the basil and garlic. Process until it becomes a paste. With the motor running, drizzle in 4 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Fold in the Parmesan.
Sprinkle the steak with salt and pepper, and coat in 1 tablespoon of oil. Set on the hot grill. Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes a side for medium-rare. Cooking times will go way down if you are using a thinner steak. Adjust accordingly. Set aside.
Coat the tomatoes in the remaining tablespoon of oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes on one side, flip, and cook for another minute on the other side.
Slice up the steak, or leave it whole. Serve with the tomato slices. Spoon some of the pesto sauce on top of the tomatoes. Serve.