Recipe courtesy of American National CattleWomen, Inc. and Lisa Huff

Smoky Cilantro Pesto Beef Crostini (Small Plates, Big Taste)

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 35 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Inactive: 2 hr
  • Cook: 20 min
  • Yield: 24 appetizers
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3 cups loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves

1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted

2 small chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

2 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 cup grated Cotija cheese

1/2 cup olive oil

2 (8-ounce) beef shoulder center steaks, cut 1-inch thick

24 slices baguette bread, cut diagonally 1/2-inch thick

1/4 cup grated Cotija cheese

1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro leaves


  1. Prepare Smoky Cilantro Pesto: Place cilantro, pine nuts, chipotle peppers, garlic, lime juice and black pepper in food processor container. Cover and process until finely chopped. Add the cheese and pulse on and off until just combined. With motor running, slowly add oil through opening in cover, processing until smooth.
  2. Spread 1/4 cup pesto evenly onto beef steaks. Place steaks in glass dish. Cover and
  3. marinate in refrigerator 15 minutes to 2 hours. Cover and refrigerate remaining pesto.
  4. Preheat charcoal grill to medium heat.
  5. Place steaks on grill over medium, ash-covered coals. Arrange 12 bread slices around steaks. Grill steaks, covered, 11 to 14 minutes for medium rare to medium doneness, turning occasionally. Grill bread slices 2 to 3 minutes or until lightly toasted, turning once. Remove bread slices from grill. Repeat with remaining 12 bread slices.
  6. Spread 2 teaspoons remaining pesto on each toasted bread slice. Carve steaks into thin slices. Place beef slices evenly over bread slices. Top evenly with 1/4 cup cheese and chopped cilantro. Serve immediately.

Cook’s Note

2 (8-ounce) beef shoulder top blade (flat iron) steaks or 4 beef tenderloin steaks, cut 1-inch thick, may be substituted for shoulder center steaks. Grill shoulder top blade (flat iron) steaks, covered, over medium, ash-covered coals 10 to 14 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, covered, 12 to 16 minutes) for medium-rare to medium doneness, turning occasionally. Grill tenderloin steaks, uncovered, over medium, ash-covered coals 13 to 15 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, covered, 11 to 15 minutes) for medium-rare to medium doneness, turning occasionally. Grated Parmesan may be substituted for the Cotija cheese. For less heat, remove seeds from chipotle peppers.