I get such a thrill out of the first “grill” of the season. I suppose there is nothing preventing me from grilling throughout the winter, but I never do. I’m happy to spend the winter cooking inside, making soups and stews and roasted meats, but then, in April, things begin to shift. I can’t say that it’s the weather (in New York, it is still pretty cool), but one day, I'll get out of my car and catch a whiff of smoky meat cooking on my neighbor’s grill and spot that familiar cloud of smoke rising above the fence. Then the racks at the supermarket checkout counter become stuffed with magazines adorned with grilled vegetables on colorful platters, and picnic blankets set out on the beach. Then they line the entrance to the produce market with tubs full of tulips and daffodils. And that does it. Now, I find myself scouring cookbooks for marinades and dry-rubs, scrubbing down the outdoor furniture, collecting citronella candles, and getting excited over grilling paraphernalia shown in cookware catalogs. Summer – and, along with it, cooking and eating outdoors – is on its way!
While it’s not quite warm enough to eat dinner outside, this weekend we did fire up the ‘ol Weber and grill our first steak of the season. I’ve already told you about my love affair with arugula, following our recent trip to Italy, so it will come as no surprise to you that I put that sucker right on top of a big pile of arugula dressed with lemon juice and olive oil. Then I spread the top of the steak with roasted garlic. We practically licked our plates!
1 head of garlic
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut top off of garlic head (see photo) and place, cut side up, on sheet of aluminum foil. Pour olive oil over the top. Close the foil over the garlic head and place on cookie sheet. Roast for 45 minutes.
1 - 1 1/2 lbs. top sirloin steak (about 1 inch thick)
3 cups arugula
2 Tbsp. olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt and pepper both sides of steak. For medium-rare steak, grill for approx. 14 minutes (7 minutes per side). While meat is cooking, toss arugula with olive oil, lemon juice, a pinch of salt and pepper, to taste. When steak is done, squeeze roasted garlic over the top and spread. Allow meat to rest for 5 minutes - this allows the juices to redistribute - then slice meat and place over the bed of arugula.