Saturday, September 5, 2009

Grilled Steak and Romaine

This meal is so incredibly easy, and yet looks and tastes rather gourmet. You can definitely impress company with this one, and it requires so little effort that they'll be amazed.

The steak is pretty obvious - simply marinated and grilled. But the romaine is quite another matter. You see, I get a head of romaine lettuce in every single one of my CSA bags, and I'm starting to get a little bored with it. It's a great bed for salads, but who wants another romaine salad again? I had seen on a couple of different Food Network shows recently this new variation on romaine salad - grilling the romaine. Who knew? It brings out this whole other level of flavor that no one gave it credit for.

The romaine gets slightly caramelized and sweet; the leaves wilt just a bit, but the heart stays crunchy. It serves as a wonderful backdrop to the steak, but of course it could be used in all sorts of ways. Try it - if you don't like it, you can have my next head of romaine.

Grilled Steak and Romaine
serves 2


1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 lb. NY strip steak, about 3/4 inch thick, trimmed
freshly ground pepper
cooking spray
1 head of romaine
salt to taste
red wine vinegar for drizzling


1. Pour 1/4 cup olive oil into a shallow casserole (or similar) dish. Add the garlic, followed by the steak. Turn the steak to coat. Season generously with pepper. Cover and marinate for 30 minutes, or up to overnight. (If you are marinating longer than 30 minutes, refrigerate).

2. When ready to cook, heat a grill pan over high heat. When it's hot, spray with cooking spray and cook the steak to desired doneness, about 6 minutes per side for medium rare. Set aside to rest and tent it with foil.

3. While steak is cooking, remove outer leaves of romaine. Cut in half lengthwise, down the middle, leaving most of the stem in tact so the leaves are held together. Brush lightly with olive oil on both sides and season with salt.

4. Wipe the grill pan with a paper towel to absorb excess juices. Reduce heat slightly to medium-high. Place the romaine onto the grill pan and cook, about 2 minutes per side, until beginning to caramelize and just starting to wilt. Serve drizzled just slightly with red wine vinegar.


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