Sunday is farmers’ market day here in Walnut Creek, and if you know who to ask, and what to ask, and you ask nicely, in August and September, you can get a box of slightly over-ripe heirloom tomatoes for $4. And by over-ripe, I mean just ripe. Most of the tomatoes at the farmers’ market would do well to sit for a day or two, because they don’t want you to buy them, take them home, and have them be a soggy mess in a day or two.
So, this Sunday found me at the farmers’ market, asking the right person, nicely, if she had 1/2 box of ‘sauce tomatoes’ that she would sell me. She did. She filled the box almost full, though, not 1/2, so here I find myself with a lot of tomatoes. Not a problem that bothers me all that much. On the way home from the farmers’ market, I stopped at the grocery store and bought a couple of steaks, and an impulse buy, the current issue of Sunset magazine, which is a special issue, Fast and Fresh recipes. This is a compilation issue, with recipes both new and old, and this particular recipe comes from the September, 2004 issue.
I didn’t buy rib-eye, since it’s pretty expensive, and the steaks I bought were a LOT smaller than the ones suggested here, but I suspect that’s a good thing. They were really yummy, and a big hit in our house. They don’t heat up the house, since I used our grill, and they used one of my huge beautiful tomatoes. Yum. Give them a try while you can get really ripe, really fresh tomatoes, whether from your garden, farmers’ market, or grocery store.
(picture from Sunset)
Rib-Eye Steaks with Tomato-Basil Relish
4 boned beef rib-eye steaks (1 1/2 in. thick, 12 to 16 oz. each)
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound firm-ripe tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
1 or 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
Salt and fresh-cracked pepper
1. Trim excess surface fat from steaks. Rinse steaks and pat dry; set in a single layer on a plate. In a small bowl, mix half the vinegar and half the olive oil. Rub mixture all over steaks to coat. Let stand for at least 15 minutes, or cover and chill up to 4 hours.
2. Meanwhile, rinse, core, and coarsely chop tomatoes. In a bowl, mix tomatoes, basil, garlic, and remaining balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Add salt to taste.
3. Lay steaks on an oiled barbecue grill over a solid bed of hot coals or high heat on a gas grill (you can hold your hand at grill level only 2 to 3 seconds); close lid on gas grill. Cook steaks, turning once, until browned on both sides and done to your liking in center of thickest part (cut to test), 10 to 13 minutes for medium-rare.
4. Transfer steaks to plates. Let rest in a warm place for 3 to 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and garnish with tomato-basil relish.
UPDATE: We made this dish again tonight, with chicken. YUMMY. I think it would be good with fish as well. Maya voted for chicken as better than steak, and Ted voted for steak better than chicken. Me? I’ll say steak, but chicken was close.