As the seasons turn to spring and summer (or in this year’s case, from winter direct to hot summer, then back to winter), I get excited for the thought of fresh herbs and grilled meats…and of course, something new. As Eric and I were talking the other day and listing out items for dinners for the week, the overwhelming theme was ‘There aren’t enough nights in a week for everything we want to try!’
We are in agreement that that is a good problem to have…there are so many recipes and ideas and so little time. (That thought alone makes me smile). It’s amazing how much doing something you love – or even thinking and planning for something you love – can bring so much energy. If you haven’t been able to tell by now, for me that energy is cooking, finding inspiration and trying new experiments in the kitchen.
I am a HUGE fan of chimichuri’s served over steaks on the grill. However, we weren’t quite ready for grilling yet, but I was ready for a different spin on one of my summer favorites. This recipe includes crafting a Red Chimichuri with cherry tomato base and using a stove top grill pan for effect. Of course, you can use an actual grill for the steak portion, but I was dealing with 40’s and some cold rain that day – so I was inside.
Red chimichuri came together quickly in a small food processor. The flavor was so bright and after a long winter and cold spring, a little bit of freshness goes a very long way. I must add that this chimichurri was not a little bit of anything. The cherry tomatoes popped and mixed with red onion, garlic, vinegar, parsley, and seasonings – it was a long awaited freshness let’s me know that spring is turning into summer – and we are all ready for that in the midwest.
This recipe was written for skewers on the grill, but you already know that the grill was not an option that day. Instead, the steak was marinaded in a simple and flavorful oil and vinegar seasoning, and finished with some salt and pepper. I say it was a simple seasoning, but that does not lessen what we had. When simple is done right, it is unbeatable.
Using a dry grill pan, the flatbread was seared first and set aside for serving. Then the marinaded steak was added to the same pan and seared till desired temperature. Turning as needed to get a good sear on both sides. Before the steak was done, adding the halved lemons to the grill pan to add that last grilled citrus element.
The assembly was the easiest part of the meal. Grilled flatbread, shmear the hummus of your choice on top (the flavor in our fridge was kalmata olive hummus and that blended perfectly with the other flavors), top with seared steak and red chimichuri. Finish with some fresh cilantro and grilled lemon juice and this instantly became a tasty new option for steak and chimichuri in our house.
Grilled Steak with Red Chimichuri
- 1 1/2 pound sirloin, cubed into 1-1.5″ pieces
- 1 tsp both sea salt & fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 Tbls extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 lemon, halved
- Grilled flatbreads, store bought hummus and fresh cilantro, to serve
Red Chimichurri Ingredients:
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 8 oz cherry tomatoes
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 2 Tbls chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 Tbls chopped cilantro
- 1/2 tsp ground chili
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbls red wine vinegar
- 1 Tbls lemon juice
Prepare the red chimichurri first by placing all of the chimichurri ingredients in a small food processor and process to a course paste. Set aside.
For the steak, combine salt, pepper, oil, vinegar and garlic. Place the cubed meat in the mixture and toss to coat. Let sit for 30 mins to absorb more of the flavor. Then thread the cubes onto skewers. Preheat a grill pan or a grill over med-high heat.
Cook the skewers, turning occasionally, for around 12-15 mins, or until meat is done to you liking. Add the lemon, cut side down, to the grill for the last 5 minutes of your meat cooking time.
Serve the meat on grilled flatbread topped with hummus, grilled lemon and top with Red Chimichurri. Top with additional chopped cilantro to finish.
*Note – Skewers can be optional if the meat cubes are large enough and just grill in the grill pan or on the grill separately.
*Recipe from Donna Hay’s Life in Balance cookbook, with slight modifications from the Australian to US translation.