I told my dear friend and colleague Cathy Whims, co-owner of Portland’s renowned restaurant Nostrana, that I was “stealing her recipe” after I ate this dish at her restaurant. The simplicity of the preparation was obvious, yet the overlay of flavors was complex and memorable. It’s a winner!
1 (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds) flank steak trimmed of fat
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
6 ounces baby arugula leaves
1/4 cup lemon-infused extra-virgin olive oil (see Cook’s Note)
Fleur de sel or other finishing salt for sprinkling
Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill on high.
Remove the flank steak from the refrigerator 20 to 30 minutes before grilling and place it on a large, rimmed baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil and garlic. Rub the steak on both sides with the mixture and season with salt and pepper.
Oil the grill grate. Place the flank steak directly over the hot fire. Cover the grill and sear the steak on one side, 4 minutes for rare or 6 minutes for medium-rare. Turn, re-cover, and cook for 4 minutes more, or until an instant-read thermometer registers 120ºF for rare or 130º to 135°F for medium-rare.
Transfer the steak to a carving board and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut the meat across the grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Scatter an equal amount of arugula on each dinner plate. Arrange overlapping slices of steak over the greens and spoon any accumulated juices over the top. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the lemon olive oil over each portion of steak and sprinkle with fleur de sel. Serve immediately.
Citrus-infused extra-virgin olive oils add big flavor to simply prepared foods, such as grilled steak, chicken, and vegetables, making the oils a staple in my grilling pantry. I buy them at specialty-foods stores, natural-foods stores, and Trader Joe’s.