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Summertime may be a few weeks away on the calendar, but by the thermometer on my patio, I’d say it’s already here. That means grilling season is also here. I like to grill everything. Grilled Caesar, grilled fruit, grilled seafood, grilled veggies. But nothing really beats a grilled steak though. Especially if it came from a 100% grass-fed cow from a local farm. The beef is the star but the chimichurri sauce is light, bright and fresh.

ImageIf you’re not familiar with chimichurri, it’s an Argentinian sauce made of parsley, garlic, olive oil and vinegar. I’ve also added some cilantro to further brighten it up and some red pepper flakes because I like it spicy.

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Chimichurri Sauce

  • 1 bunch italian flat-leaf parsley, stems removed
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, stems removed
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup good quality olive oil
  • 2 Tble red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes

Combine parsley, cilantro and garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until greens and garlic are finely chopped. Add vinegar and red pepper flakes. Pulse once or twice to combine. With processor running, add olive oil slowly through the hole in the top until olive oil is combined. Pour into a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

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For the steak I used a London broil, which is really a top round cut. The better cuts for this would be a flank steak or a skirt steak, but I was out of those. I seasoned the beef liberally with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper after I let it rest at room temperature for an hour. Then I grilled it to the desired degree of doneness, for us that means medium-rare. I wouldn’t go past medium for this cut of beef as it will become extremely tough. Not good!

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Now that you have your chimichurri sauce made and the steak resting, you’ll need a side dish. The sweet and spicy Spanish rice is the perfect compliment to the bright, fresh chimichurri sauce.

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Spanish Rice

  • 3 Tble olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, minced
  • 3 celery stalks, trimmed and minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 1 cup long-grain rice
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • black pepper to taste

Cook onion in olive oil until soft, but not browned. Add bell pepper, celery, garlic and jalapeño. Cook over medium heat until vegetables are soft. Add rice, tomato sauce, water, chicken stock and spices. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook 20-25 minutes until rice is done. Fluff with a fork and adjust seasonings. Serve hot.

ImageWe enjoyed ours al fresco with a wonderful Francis Ford Coppola claret.

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