Everybody knows traditional basil pesto but it can also be made with other herbs and green leaves. Naturally, I want you to make your own: the flavour of homemade pesto is unbeatable.
Here I use peppery rocket and watercress, which work really well with beef, and the kick of chilli in this steak recipe gives everything an extra boost.
– 1 ciabatta, cut into 2cm chunks
– 4 tbsp olive oil
– 2 x 300g sirloin steaks
– 1 red chilli, halved, deseeded and chopped
– 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
– 75g rocket leaves
– 1 small garlic clove, peeled
– 25g pine nuts
– 125ml extra virgin olive oil
– Juice of 1/2 lemon
– 50g Parmesan cheese
– Salt, to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/gas 6. Put a large frying pan over a high heat.
2. Tip the ciabatta chunks onto a baking tray and spread out in a single layer. Drizzle with half the olive oil and season with salt. Cook in the oven for 10 minutes.
3. Rub the steaks with the remaining olive oil and cook in the frying pan for 3 minutes on each side.
4. Meanwhile, put the chilli on a large plate, pour over 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and season with salt.
5. Transfer the steaks to the plate with the chilli, oil and salt. Turn them over in the seasoned oil and cover with foil to keep warm.
6. Put the rocket leaves, garlic and pine nuts in a food processor, add half the extra virgin olive oil and blitz until smooth. Add the remaining oil and lemon juice and grate in the Parmesan cheese. Blitz once more until smooth. Season with a little salt.
7. Thinly slice the steaks and arrange on a large serving plate, drizzle over the rocket pesto and serve immediately, surrounded by the warm croutons. Serve with my Honey Beetroot (see page 186) if you wish.
Gino D’Acampo is one of the UK’s most popular TV chefs and the Author of many cookbooks including, La Dolce Diet and Italian Home Baking.
Pronto! will solve your dinner dilemmas with 130 delicious and quick dishes that will inspire you to leave behind the same dull, after-work meals. With recipes organised by ingredients you can easily find a dish using what you have in the cupboard or fridge.
Pronto! by Gino D’Acampo is published by Kyle Books. Photography by Matt Russell.