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One of the trends we’ve noticed with our customers is that they want to use steak as an ingredient in a recipe – not just a big ole’ hunk of meat in the middle of their dinner plate. We totally understand this, because while steak is super delicious, it’s fun to use as an ingredient to make a super flavorful dish. Our Mediterranean Steak Crostini recipe is designed to use a quality strip steak as an ingredient to make a dish that’s great for an appetizer or as a grazing dinner dish.
This recipe isn’t our simplest recipe, but it is straightforward and all of the steps are easy to do on their own. Each step matters and contributes to making tasty crostini bites for you to enjoy.
We make three variations on the same basic crostini in this recipe, but if you don’t like one of them, you can concentrate on just making the variations you like. We wanted to embrace staples of Mediterranean cuisine and have a variety of flavors in this dish (that’s the point of grazing dinners, right?) so we used fresh mozzarella, pesto, and olive tapenade as the rotating bases for the crostini. We then top each crositini with a delicious piece of steak, fresh basil, blistered tomato, and balsamic vinegar. These are so good!
It’s important for this recipe to prepare the steak correctly. The pepper crust is key to making the steak stand up to the other bold flavors on the crositini. The pepper helps complement the pesto and olive and contrast with the mozzarella. We use thick cut steaks for this recipe to make the slices fit the crositini perfectly, and to promote a little bit of medium-rare character in the middle of the steak. Finally, we used a reverse sear method of cooking these steaks to get an incredible sear on that pepper crust. We highly recommend using this method for cooking!
What do you think of this recipe? Do you have any ideas that riff off our basic idea? We’d love to hear your ideas and feedback. Leave us a comment or rating below to let us know what you think. Enjoy and we’ll see you soon at Lake Geneva Country Meats!
Put the whole peppercorns in a plastic bag and pound with a mallet to crack them. Spread the cracked peppercorns out on a cutting board and sprinkle the kosher salt over the peppercorns. Press all sides of the strip steak into the seasoning mixture and then put them on a rack placed over a baking sheet. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
While the steak is resting, make your crostini by slicing the bread into ~1/4″ thick slices. Lightly brush each side of the bread with olive oil and then sprinkle the top with kosher salt. Place the slices on a baking sheet, and then bake in an oven preheated to 375ºF for about five minutes, then flip and bake for another five minutes, or until the the bread is crispy and browned to your liking. Set aside.
After the steak has rested at room temperature for 30 minutes, keep the steaks on the rack and place them in an oven preheated to 300ºF. Bake for about 30 minutes until the steak reaches 120ºF internal temperature. Once the steak reaches 120ºF, remove from the oven.
After your steaks reach 120ºF, it is time to sear them. Add 1 tbsp. vegetable oil to a medium-large skillet and heat to high heat. Sear the steak on all sides for ~2 minutes per side until you have a strong crust on all sides. This will create a lot of smoke, so make sure you have your exhaust vent fan on while cooking! Once seared, remove from the skillet, and let rest for 10 minutes. Once it has rested, cut into approximately 1/8″ slices.
While the steaks are cooking, blister your tomatoes by adding 1 tbsp. of vegetable oil to a medium non-stick skillet and heating to medium heat. Once hot, add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook on medium heat for about 5 – 7 minutes until the tomatoes start to blister and shrivel. Remove from heat and set aside.
With everything prepared, it’s time to assemble your crostini! Start by laying out your bread slices (the actual crostini). A “normal” sized baguette will usually make about 20 crostini and will work with the quantities in this recipe. Break the slices into three groups.
Put a slice of fresh mozzarella on one group, a spread of olive tapenade on another group, and a spread of pesto on another group.
Next, put a slice of pepper crusted strip steak on each crostini.
Finally, top each crostini with a blistered tomato half (or two!), drizzle with balsamic vinegar, and add some torn fresh basil.
Enjoy as an appetizer or grazing dinner. Cheers!