THE ART OF ITALIAN DINING
When thinking what to cook this week on my weekly NBC segment i couldn’t help myself but plugging in one of my
absolut favorite dishes: ‘Tagliata Alla Fiorentina‘ or ‘Sliced Grilled Steak‘. Now, you are probably thinking what is so special about a grilled steak (even if i would argue that a good, grilled steak is always a special treat to oneself).
‘Tagliata alla Fiorentina‘ is the signature dish of Florence, but the people of Cortona, in eastern Tuscany, also claim it as theirs. But really, no matter where it’s from, grilled steak is perhaps the most classic and luxurious Tuscan beef dish. Any succulent, thick-cut steak will do, although Tuscan chefs prefer porterhouse or T-bone, especially from their local Chianina cows. The meat is coated in oil and garlic, then grilled and served on a bed of arugula with lemon wedges and shaved Parmesan. Use only genuine Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese; a vegetable peeler makes it easy to shave thin, curling strips. It is always served the same way.
Also, I’ve always liked the habit of squeezing lemon juice over grilled steak, cutting the richness and adding to the flavor.
If you are using coals, remember that you want the coals to be on their way down from the hottest point, gray on the outside with only a little red in the center–but there should be a lot of them. However, you can also opt to cook the steak in a pan with a drizzle of olive oil and rosemary. Even if a little unconventional, it adds to the steak a wonderful aroma and crispiness that will leave you impressed.
Finish the steak with a drizzle of a good, very good, balsamic vinegar (House of Balsamic imports the best ‘Aceti Tradizionali di Modena’ you can find here..) and you are ready to eat!
For the ones of you who are more shellfish based, I created a light, summery and simple pasta dish that, i know, you will get addicted to: ‘Spaghetti with Shrimp, Oven Roasted Tomatoes and Garlic’. This adaptation from the other’s week recipe you can find in Summer Feasts doesn’t incorporate the gorgonzola cheese element, thus makes it a bit lighter (just follow the old recipe without incorporating the gorgonzola sauce). Colors are beautiful, the flavors blend perfectly and, garnished with fresh basil and drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, this dish is sure to become one of your favorites.
Happy Summer Friends!
TAGLIATA ARUGULA, PARMESAN CHEESE AND BALSAMIC
Mince the garlic and mixed them with 2 teaspoons oil, fresh rosemary and black pepper.
Pat steaks dry with paper towels. Rub sea salt and black pepper on top. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes or refrigerate up to 8 hours. Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Grill steaks to desired doneness, about 9 minutes per side for medium-rare. Just before taking the steak off the grill brush it with the olive oil, garlic and rosemary infusion on both sides. Cook for 15 seconds. Transfer steaks to cutting board. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut steaks on slight angle into 1/4-inch-thick slices.
Arrange arugula on platter. Top with steak slices. Pour any accumulated juices over steaks; sprinkle with salt. Drizzle 1 tablespoon oil over steaks. Using vegetable peeler, shave Parmesan into strips over steaks. Serve with lemon wedges. Drizzle with a good quality balsamic ‘Tradizionale di Modena’ vinegar.