“Stretch the Steak” Tartine with Aged Provolone

   

Toptable Group’s Whistler Executive Chef James Walt

Nothing says BBQ season has begun like the aroma and sizzle of steak on the grill. A tartine is an open-faced sandwich and just happens to be the perfect way to feed your whole family with only a few steaks. Try this recipe with lamb, chicken or even grilled fish instead of beef. And find more recipes for cooking in rhythm with the seasons in Chef James Walt’s cookbook Araxi: Roots to Shoots, Farm Fresh Recipes.

Serves 4 to 6 as a lunch entrée

  • 3 well-marbled sirloin steaks, 10 oz each
  • 4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp cracked black pepper
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 6 slices of rustic bread, each 6 to 7 inches long and 1⁄2 inch thick
  • 6 Tbsp Romesco Sauce (see below)
  • 6 - 8 slices aged provolone, each 1⁄8 inch thick
  • 2 cups arugula leaves

Preheat the barbecue or an indoor grill to medium-high heat. Rub the steaks with 1 Tbsp of the olive oil. Season them evenly with all of the black pepper and a pinch of sea salt. Place the steaks on the hot grill and cook for 2 minutes. Turn them 90 degrees to create the lovely grill marks that everybody likes and cook for a further 2 minutes. Turn the steaks over and cook them for 2 minutes, then turn them 90 degrees and cook for 2 minutes more. Transfer the cooked steaks to a plate and let them rest in a warm place for 8 minutes.

While the steaks are resting, drizzle 2 Tbsp of the remaining olive oil evenly over both sides of the bread slices. Place them on the grill for 45 seconds to 1 minute per side, or until lightly charred and golden brown. Remove the bread from the grill and spread one side of each slice with some of the Romesco sauce. Arrange the bread slices on a baking tray.

Preheat a broiler on high. Cut the steaks into slices 1/4 inch thick (each steak should yield 8 to 10 slices, depending upon its thickness). Arrange 4 to 5 slices of steak on each piece of bread and cover with 1 or 2 slices of the provolone cheese. Place the bread under the broiler just until the cheese starts to melt. Set the steak tartines on a serving platter.

TO SERVE

In a bowl, toss the arugula leaves with the remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil. Top the tartines with the arugula and garnish with more shaved provolone, if desired. Serve immediately.

ROMESCO SAUCE

Makes 2 1⁄2 cups

Nora peppers are dried Spanish peppers that are readily available at European grocers, like Bosa Foods in Vancouver or online.

  • 5 large tomatoes, cores removed and flesh cut in half (vine-ripened are good for this; about the size of a billiard ball)
  • 1 head garlic, cut in half, skins on
  • 2 medium Nora peppers, soaked and drained, or 1 large bell pepper, cut in half and seeds removed
  • 1 small chili pepper, cut in half and seeds removed (optional)
  • 1/3 cup blanched whole almonds
  • 1 large slice day-old crusty bread, cut into quarters
  • 1 cup good quality extra virgin Spanish olive oil
  • 1⁄4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place the tomatoes, garlic, Nora (or bell) peppers, chili pepper (if using), almonds, and bread in a baking dish. Drizzle with 1/4 cup of the olive oil, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the tomatoes and garlic soften and the bread and almonds are golden. Remove from the oven and set aside until cool enough to handle.

Squeeze the garlic cloves from their skins and discard the skins. Transfer the garlic and the entire contents of the baking dish to a blender or food processor. Add the remaining olive oil, the vinegar, and paprika and season with sea salt. Blend at high speed until the sauce is thick and smooth. This will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days.