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Tuscan-Style Steak with Arugula and Parmesan

2011 May 6
by Mrs. FoodieLawyer

On a busy weeknight, we love a dish that incorporates both the protein and the vegetable in the same recipe — as seen here and here.  Such meals are usually really easy to prepare, but still have fresh and complex flavors.  We found this recipe in an old cookbook by Cook’s Illustrated, “The Quick Recipe,” which we found at a Half Price Books store (used book stores are great places to find good quality cookbooks at inexpensive prices.)  The ingredients for this dish include steak, arugula, a vinaigrette made with olive oil, lemon, garlic, fresh parsley, fresh oregano, salt & pepper, and freshly shaved parmesan for garnish.  We added tomatoes for a little extra flavor and texture.  We’re crazy like that.

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Start with about 5 tablespoons of olive oil for the dressing.  When olive oil is one of the main ingredients, we try to use higher quality extra virgin olive oil, as opposed to the regular stuff we use when we saute.

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Add about a tablespoon of juice from a lemon.

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Next add 2 cloves of minced (or pressed) garlic.

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Then add a tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley and a tablespoon of chopped fresh oregano.

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Add a pinch each of salt and pepper…

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…then whisk all the ingredients together until the vinaigrette is smooth.

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Trim the steaks of any visible fat.  On this night, we used bone-in New York strip steaks because they were on sale that week at our grocery store.  But any type of steak would work for this recipe.

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Season the steak heavily with salt and pepper.

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Heat vegetable oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat.  Place the steaks in the skillet and cook one side until a nice brown crust forms — about 5-6 minutes.

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Turn the steaks over, reduce the heat to medium, and cook for another 3-4 minutes if you like yours rare, or 5-6 minutes if you like it medium-rare.

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When the steak is done, remove it to a cutting board and allow it to rest for about 5 minutes before cutting it.  Slice the steak into thin strips.

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Divide the arugula among the serving plates.  If you are using arugula that is more mature and therefore bigger, you may want to tear the leaves into smaller pieces.  I also like to de-stem the arugula, but that step is not necessary (as Dan reminds me every. single. time.)

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Artfully arrange the steak strips over the arugula.

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Then add the tomatoes (if you’re using them.)

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Finally, re-whisk the vinaigrette and drizzle it over the steak and arugula, then top with shaved parmesan cheese.  We love that this dish looks and tastes way more difficult to prepare than it actually is.  The simple and fresh ingredients combine to create complex and sophisticated flavors.   Perfect for a quick weeknight meal.

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