Unless you live in Denver (sorry friends – that blizzard looked rough), there’s a chance it’s finally feeling nice and warm outside. Which is exactly why we’re starting this Tuesday with a big, beautiful, sexy slab of grilled flank steak with cilantro pesto. Because if this doesn’t make you break out the shorts, flip flops, margarita makers and wide-brimmed hats, I don’t know what will.
One of the (many) benefits of living in coastal South Carolina is the weather. Minus a few chilly mornings and a few rainy days, the weather has been almost perfect since we moved in. More sunny days than not, and most afternoons touching the 70-degree mark by 2pm. Coming from an area that still had snow a few weeks ago, this has been a MAJOR game-changer in not just our moods (or tans), but also the way we eat.
Instead of heavy soups, cheesy casseroles or yet another pizza, we’re eating delicious spreads of beautiful grilled meats, fresh vegetable salads and tons of corn on the cob. Because unlike home, you can light up that grill in December down here. Which is why most of our dinners are enjoyed al-fresco on our porch or outdoor patio, with the beautiful sounds of charcoal sizzling and ducks squawking in the background. (How serene is my new backyard?!)
Although I made this steak a few weeks ago (before travel, life and, well, travel) took over, it’s definitely going to be on the rotation all summer long. Not only is it SO easy to prepare, it’s even easier to make – just a few minutes on each side to sear and slightly char. Now, I’m a full believer that steak should be enjoyed medium rare – and if you want to eat it any other way, you’re dead to me. I kid (sort of). If you’re really skeevy of the pink inside, cook a little longer to your preference.
Just don’t tell me about it.
Although the steak is the Oscar winner in this dish, we couldn’t leave without honoring the best supporting actor – the cilantro pesto.
It’s no surprise that I’m a giant sucker for this iconic leafy herb – I’ve used in more dishes than not. However, I’ve never made a pesto with it. The steak sings on its own, of course, but I wanted even more flavor backed into each bite – so I dressed it with luscious spoonfuls of this bright green pesto. The two paired together just works. Bright and earthy, vibrant and bold – it’s the perfect marriage of classic American and South American flair.
So go ahead – fire up that grill and eat like it’s summer. Your new piece will thank you.
Easy Grilled Flank Steak with Cilantro Pesto
Serves about 6.
Prep time: >10 minutes
Cook time: About 12 minutes
Total time: 22 minutes
For the steak:
- 1 1/2 pounds flank steak
- 1 tablespoon steak seasoning
- Dash of salt and pepper
For the cilantro pesto:
- 2 cups fresh cilantro, large stems removed
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1/2 cup walnuts or pine nuts
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup high quality olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat grill to high heat. Lightly grease the top with cooking oil or spray.
- Liberally season the steak with steak seasoning and salt and pepper. (Ensure both sides are coated).
- Using tongs, place the steak onto the grill and sear both sides (about 1 – 2 minutes on each side) to get a nice color. Reduce heat to medium-high, and cook another 4 – 5 minutes on each side (for medium rare). Remove steak and let rest about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place all of the pesto ingredients into a food processor. Pulse on high until creamy. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.
- Once steak has rested, slice (against the grain). Serve with pesto and enjoy!
Nutritional information per serving (about 3 ounces steak and 2 tablespoons pesto):
Fat: 27 grams
Carbohydrates: 8 grams
Fiber: 2 grams
Protein: 26.5 grams
Weight Watchers Points: 10