Dinner in Palo Alto


Flank Steak Salad with Chimichurri Dressing and Heirloom Tomato and olive Tapenade Tartlets

After seeing the spread I put out for my friend in Albany, another friend, Tom, said to me, “Come to East Palo Alto! Our motto is ‘We’re pretty close to the other Palo Alto!'”

How could I say no to that?

The steak and tarts came out amazing. I was lazy and didn’t cut the tartlets into rounds, instead I just topped the entire puff pastry with the tapenade and tomatoes and cheesy goodness, baked, then cut with a pizza cutter.

Recipe:

Flank Steak Salad with Chimichurri Dressing

The famous Argentine herb sauce is thinned out with a little more olive oil and vinegar to make a bright herbal dressing for the salad. Instead of a big rib eye, this recipe calls for flank steak, a thin cut that’s ideal when you’re pressed for time.

6 servings

Recipe by Jill Silverman Hough

Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle hot pepper sauce
  • 1 1 1/2-pound flank steak
  • 8 ounces mixed baby greens
  • 1 12-ounce container marinated small fresh mozzarella balls,* drained
  • * Available in the cheese section of many supermarkets and at specialty foods stores and Italian markets.

Preparation

  • Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Combine parsley (with stems), oregano, and garlic in processor; blend 10 seconds. Add 1/2 cup oil, vinegar, and hot pepper sauce; blend until almost smooth. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Brush grill rack with oil. Sprinkle steak on both sides with salt and pepper. Grill steak to desired doneness, about 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer steak to work surface; let rest 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, toss greens in large bowl with some dressing. Transfer to large platter. Sprinkle mozzarella over.
  • Thinly slice steak across grain on slight diagonal. Arrange steak atop greens. Drizzle with remaining dressing.

Tomato and Tapenade Tartlets

These quick tartlets are warmed in the oven for such a short time that the tomatoes never lose their fresh-picked taste and texture. Serve them as a first course at dinner or with a salad as the main event at lunch.

Makes 6

Recipe by Dorie Greenspan

Ingredients

  • 1 17.3-ounce package frozen puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed
  • 1/2 cup (about) green- or black-olive tapenade*
  • 5 to 6 ripe medium tomatoes, preferably assorted colors, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 12 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
  • Fleur de sel or coarse kosher salt
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • 18 small fresh basil leaves
  • 6 green or black olives, pitted, sliced

Preparation

  • Position racks in top third and bottom third of oven. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Working with 1 pastry sheet at a time, roll out on floured surface to 13-inch square. Using 6-inch-diameter plate, cut out 4 rounds from 1 sheet and 2 rounds from second sheet (reserve remaining pastry for another use). Transfer 3 rounds to each baking sheet. Pierce each round with fork. Top rounds with another sheet of parchment. Place another baking sheet atop parchment on each sheet.
  • Place 1 baking sheet stack on each rack in oven and bake 10 minutes. Rotate baking sheets and bake until rounds are golden, about 10 minutes longer. Using oven mitts, carefully remove top baking sheets and top sheets of parchment. Continue baking pastries until deep golden, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer sheets to rack to cool. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.
  • Increase oven temperature to 450°F. Spread generous tablespoon tapenade over each pastry round, leaving 1/2-inch border around edges. Alternate 4 tomato slices with 4 mozzarella slices atop each pastry in pinwheel pattern. Bake just until cheese begins to melt, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with fleur de sel and pepper, then drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Arrange a few basil leaves and olive slices atop each tartlet and serve immediately.
  • *A thick paste or spread made from brine-cured olives, capers, anchovies, and various seasonings; available at some supermarkets and at specialty foods stores and Italian markets.

Read More http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2008/08/tomato_and_tapenade_tartlets#ixzz11Bobj6vG

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