Cook the Book: Steak, Tomato, and Onion Sandwiches

[Photograph: Caroline Russock]

Whether or not sandwiches require recipes is something I struggle with. Anyone can throw together a grilled cheese or PB&J, and even more complicated endeavors such as a club sandwich are pretty self explanatory—bread plus condiment and filling equals sandwich. But every once in a while a sandwich recipe changes my mind, and this Steak, Tomato, and Onion Sandwich from Amy Goldman's The Heirloom Tomato made me think twice about my "no sandwich recipes" rule.

The basics of this recipe are fairly standard and definitely fall into the "I could have come up with that on my own" category, but the condiments and extra touches are what really set it apart. The sandwich starts with grilled, sliced rib eye, juicy tomatoes, and peppery arugula on a baguette. But the extras—balsamic marinated grilled red onions and chipotle mayo—are what really make the sandwich. Never in a million years would I have thought to pair chipotles and balsamic, but as unlikely as they sound, the flavors work beautifully together in sweet-smoky-hot harmony.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of The Heirloom Tomato to give away this week.

Cook the Book: Steak, Tomato, and Onion Sandwiches

About This Recipe



  • 1/4 cup pure olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, sliced
  • 2 pounds rib eye steak
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper, coarse grind
  • 1 chipotle pepper, canned, in adobo sauce
  • 2 teaspoons adobo sauce
  • Mayonnaise to taste
  • 1 pound red onions
  • 2 pounds beefsteak tomatoes, cut into 1/2 -inch slices
  • 1/4 cup pure olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 ounces baby arugula
  • 2 baguettes


  1. 1

    Sprinkle the olive oil and garlic over the steaks. Generously season each side of the steaks with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

  2. 2

    To make the chipotle mayonnaise: Split the chipotle pepper in half; remove the seeds. Purée with the adobo sauce in a processor or chop very fine. Stir the purée into the mayonnaise. Reserve.

  3. 3

    Thirty minutes prior to cooking, remove the steaks from the refrigerator so that they come to room temperature.

  4. 4

    Heat the grill.

  5. 5

    Peel and slice the red onions into 1/2-inch slices. Brush the onions and tomatoes with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the onions over moderate heat until done, about 8 minutes per side. Put in a bowl and toss with the balsamic vinegar. Reserve and keep warm.

  6. 6

    Grill the steak. This should take about 5 minutes per side for medium rare. Remove from grill and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut into 1/4-inch slices.

  7. 7

    Cut the baguette into four 5 to 6 inch pieces. Split each in half and brush lightly with olive oil. Grill crumb side down until warm.

  8. 8

    To assemble each sandwich: Spread chipotle mayonnaise on a piece of baguette, cut the tomato into half moons, and put slices on the bread with the steak, onions, and arugula. Cover with the top of the baguette and serve.


Add a rating with your comment:

Comments can take up to a minute to appear - please be patient!

Previewing your comment: