Life transitions can weigh you down like a ton of bricks. Funny thing is, I’m not even in the middle or beginning of a transition. I’m at that pondering part where you think about jumping across the starting line and can’t make up your mind wether to go through with it or not. So, last week I sat down in front of a gorgeous steak tartine with lemon parmesan vinaigrette and thought about what I wanted to do with the rest of my career.
I’m not a stand-still kind of person. I tend to reinvent my self every 5 years or so (God bless those who stick around me) and I’m feeling that restlessness creep it’s way into my spine. Do you know what I’m talking about? It seems there are two kinds of people in this world, those who need change to survive and those who avoid it at all costs. For better or worse, I’m the latter. I’ve gone from graphic designer, to art director, to product photographer, to development chef, to recipe developer/food photographer/prop stylist, to published cookbook author. I’ve worked for major corporations, small firms, and myself. So what to do now?
My restlessness is pointing to something big. Opening a culinary studio or an online culinary prop rental/purchase business? Perhaps. Maybe a step bigger and creating a culinary specific PR firm? As they say, only time will tell and opportunity vast. For now, I’ll focus on mapping options out over a delicious meal and citrusy IPA and drive myself crazy with an endless list of pros and cons.
Steak Tartines with Lemon Parmesan Vinaigrette
Thinly sliced and perfectly seared steak lay on top of ripe heirloom tomatoes, peppery arugula, and golden sourdough toasts with a bright lemon-parmesan vinaigrette for an enticing summer lunch or dinner (or when you need a thought-pondering meal). This open-faced sandwich is incredibly easy to prepare with a delicious combination of fresh, savory, and bright flavors. Prepare the steak and vinaigrette in advance for a quick meal when entertaining or create bite-sized crostini and turn this into an incredible appetizer for a summer cocktail party.
It all begins with quality ingredients. I’m using a few different varieties of heirloom tomatoes because I grow them but a store-bought beefsteak tomato is just as good as long as it’s ripe. Sirloin flap is one of my favorite cuts of beef lately. It resembles flank steak but has more marbling and flavor. You could also use a sirloin steak, NY strip, or flank. This vinaigrette is delicious and versatile but for the best flavor, please use fresh Parmigiana Reggiano.
First, allow your steak to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour. Then season heavily with kosher salt and sear in a hot cast iron or grill pan. After a 10 minute rest, thinly slice with a sharp knife.
While the steak rests, create the vinaigrette in the blender by pureeing lemon juice, black pepper, olive oil, fish or Worcestershire sauce, and grated parmesan cheese. Toast sourdough slices until lightly golden and top with arugula and tomatoes.
To finish off, place a few slices of steak on each tartine, drizzle with the vinaigrette, and top with thinly sliced red onion. Pour yourself a drink and enjoy!
Beer: IPA, Farmhouse, Lambic, Geuze, Dubbel, Pilsner
Wine: Chianti, Mencia, Barbera, Nebbiolo, Red or White Burgundy or Sangiovese Rosé
An easy to prepare open-faced sandwich with a delicious combination of savory seared steak on sourdough toasts with ripe tomato, peppery arugula and a bright lemon parmesan vinaigrette.
- 1 pound sirloin flap*
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 sourdough bread slices
- 2 ripe heirloom or beefsteak tomatoes, sliced
- 1 cup arugula
- Red onion, thinly sliced
Lemon Parmesan Vinaigrette
- 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon fish or Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Allow steak to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking. Season steak with salt. In a large cast iron skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat, sear the sirloin flap 4 to 6 minutes a side for medium rare (130°F - 135°F internal temp). 4 minutes a side if your steak is 3/4 to 1-inch thick. 6 minutes a side if your steak is 1 to 11/2-inch thick. Transfer to a cutting board and rest for 10 minutes before slicing thin.
While the steak is resting make the lemon-parmesan vinaigrette. In a blender, combine Parmigiano Reggiano, lemon juice, pepper, and fish or Worcestershire sauce. With the blender on, slowly drizzle olive oil in and blend until the vinaigrette is smooth. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if needed.
In an oven or toaster, toast bread until lightly golden. Top each toast with a serving of arugula, tomato slices, steak, and red onion slices. Drizzle vinaigrette over each tartine and serve.
*Flank, NY Strip, or Sirloin Steak can be substituted for Sirloin Flap.
IN ADVANCE: Steak and vinaigrette can be made 1 day in advance. Slice steak just before serving. Steak can be served warm or cold. Let vinaigrette warm to room temperature before serving.