Sometimes appetizers can make the best meals for dinner, particularly on a weeknight when you may have run out of ideas of what to make, just want something quick and easy or are trying to make use of some leftovers so that you can clear the fridge, make a quick meal and get something tasty. This recipe from New York Times Cooking can do all of those things depending on the ingredients you choose to use. The original recipe is for a grilled flank steak on ciabatta bread with red peppers. I did modify my version slightly, using some leftover steak that we had from one meal and instead of the chopped red peppers I substituted some jarred roasted red peppers I had in the fridge. I think it came out just as well as the original recipe sounds, but I will post the original recipe here for you to use.
Grilled Flank Steak on Ciabatta with Red Peppers
1 1 3/4 to 2-pound flank steak
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons black olive tapenade
1/3 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 red onion, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves, slivered
2 large red bell peppers, cored and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 large loaf of ciabatta bread, halved horizontally
Smear the flank steak with 2 tablespoons of the extra-virgin olive oil and massage the smoked paprika into the steak. Season the steak with salt and pepper and set the steak aside. Combine 1 1/2 tablespoons of the black olive tapenade with the chopped parsley and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and set it aside.
Heat the remaining olive oil in a large skillet. Add the red onion and saute the onion over medium heat until it is soft, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute briefly, then add the red peppers. Reduce the heat to low and saute the vegetables gently until they are very tender, about 30 minutes. Stir the mixture occasionally. Stir in the red wine and the remaining black olive tapenade then remove the mixture from the heat.
Heat a gas grill to hot, or alternatively heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. When the pepper mixture is done, place the steak on the grill or the grill pan and sear the steak, about 2 to 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. The timing may differ depending on the thickness of the steak that you use, so you can make a diagonal cut at one end of the steak to check the doneness.
Transfer the steak to a cutting board and place the ciabatta halves, cut side down, on the grill to toast. Alternatively, you can place the ciabatta halves on a baking sheet under the broiler. Watch the bread closely to avoid burning and heat for about 2 minutes on the grill or 3 to 4 minutes under the broiler. Smear the toasted ciabatta with the reserved tapenade and parsley mixture. Slice the steak thin on the bias and arrange the steak slices atop the toasted ciabatta. Reheat the pepper mixture and spoon it on top of the steak. Cut each ciabatta half in six pieces, arrange on a platter and serve.
This is a pretty quick meal to put together if you take some shortcuts. As I said, I had some leftover steak from an earlier meal that I sliced thinly and quickly heated in a grill pan. I used roasted red peppers and some baby yellow peppers I had on hand along with the red onion and instead of using tapenade (which Michelle doesn’t like and I didn’t have on hand), I used some sliced black olives and sliced Kalamata olives in its place and it worked out quite nicely. We had this for dinner along with some rice and vegetables, but this could also be a great item for an appetizer or even for a buffet table if you are having a party. You can put it all together pretty easily and have a nice spread. I really liked the taste of the steak mixed with the olives, onions and peppers and put that all on top of some crunchy ciabatta and it was pretty awesome.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!