This meal only sounds complicated. The truth is that it’s ridiculously simple and quick to prepare, but don’t tell anyone. Let your family think it took hours to make when the reality is far less than that. I dare you to serve this and have any leftovers. Not going to happen.
The asparagus alone is so good I sat alone at my kitchen counter eating and rhapsodising out loud about it. Really loudly. So loudly that I probably frightened our new neighbours and expect to see a For Sale sign any day now.
During asparagus season I buy lots of asparagus for my family and then eat it…alone. They’re not fans, so I’m always trying new ways to get them to clue in and realize how delicious asparagus is. And finally, success! The secret ingredient is cheese, of course.
I used chimichurri, a green sauce from Argentina, to season the meat and toss with the eggplant before cooking. Its base is parsley mixed with garlic, various herbs, olive oil, and wine vinegar. The recipe we’re making today uses store bought chimichurri, but I’ll share a homemade one soon.
With a handful of fresh ingredients you can whip together a complete meal in less than thirty minutes and have time to enjoy a cup of coffee that you’ll question the wisdom of when bedtime has come and gone. I’m not alone in this, right?
Mix 1/4 cup chimichurri sauce with thinly sliced eye of round steak. Buy it pre-sliced from your grocer. Coat the meat and set aside while preparing the vegetables. This allows the steak to marinade for approximately 15 minutes.
Wash and pat dry the vegetables and basil.
Slice unpeeled eggplant into ½ centimeter thick rounds. I use Asian eggplant because it has a mild flavour and thinner peel. Toss eggplant with 4 tablespoons of chimichurri sauce. Set aside.
Chop 1 small bunch of basil, enough to loosely fill 2/3 cup. Set aside
Combine 5 tablespoons olive oil and 4 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar. Set aside.
Snap off the woody ends of the asparagus. Do this by gently bending the asparagus near the bottom of the stalk until it snaps.
Place the asparagus in an open steamer insert, add 1 – 2 centimeters of water to the bottom of the pan, and cover. Cook asparagus over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes, or until tender. Test using a fork.
While asparagus is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet, and add the eggplant. Cook eggplant over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, turning over half way through the cooking time.
Once the eggplant is half cooked, heat 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet, and add the steak. Turn over the pieces of steak after 1 minute and remove from heat after another 45 seconds.
The three parts of the meal will finish cooking at approximately the same time.
Drain the asparagus and place in a serving dish. Top with the olive oil/Balsamic vinegar combo, feta, and basil.*
Combine the cooked eggplant and steak in one dish.
Makes enough for 4.
Serve with a warm baguette, which you can use to soak up the sauce and rogue pieces of feta.
*The asparagus can be eaten cold, so there’s no need to worry about keeping it hot as you serve the rest of the meal.
Chimichurri steak adapted from DairyGoodness.ca.