Steak With Spicy Olive Pesto

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 3 hr 10 min
  • Prep: 2 hr 50 min
  • Cook: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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1 2 1/4-pound boneless sirloin steak (1 1/4 inches thick)

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup pine nuts

1 bunch parsley (leaves only)

1 clove garlic

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/4 cup finely grated parmesan or grana padano cheese

1/4 cup chopped pitted green olives (such as Sicilian or Cerignola)


  1. Pound the steak on both sides with a meat tenderizer or pierce with a fork. Transfer to a large resealable plastic bag; add 2 tablespoons olive oil, the lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Seal the bag and shake to coat; marinate in the refrigerator, 2 to 8 hours.
  2. Meanwhile, make the pesto: Toast the pine nuts in a small skillet over medium-high heat, tossing occasionally, until slightly golden, about 3 minutes; let cool. Pulse the parsley, garlic and red pepper flakes in a food processor until almost smooth. Add the toasted pine nuts, cheese and 5 tablespoons olive oil and pulse until combined. Transfer to a bowl and stir in 3 tablespoons water and the olives; season with salt.
  3. Remove the steak from the marinade and pat dry. Bring to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
  4. Heat a large cast-iron or other heavy skillet over medium-high heat; add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, then add the steak and cook until a dark crust forms, about 7 minutes. Turn and cook until a thermometer inserted into the center of the steak (from the side) registers 130 degrees F for medium rare, about 8 more minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes. 
  5. Brush the steak with some of the pesto. Thinly slice against the grain and serve with the remaining pesto.
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