Strip Steak with Roasted Celery Puree over Ume Plum Wilted Arugula
As some of our readers may note, I have recently developed an obsession for pureed vegetables (see also eggplant puree and garlic creamed cauliflower). This whole recipe was inspired by the roasted celery puree I had in my fridge (I usually portion my purees out into 2-4 servings and eat one with the meal I’m (usually) making, pop one into the fridge for tomorrow, and then freeze whatever may or may not be left in my trusty glass tupperware). Working around the now unfrozen pureed celery, I decided to throw this dish together using the strip steak and arugula I had on hand. This meal came together in about 15 minutes (over my lunch break) since the celery puree was already made; but if you need to make the celery at the same time that you cook the other dishes, plan on it taking you more like 45 minutes to 1 hour. We’ll treat this recipe like you have to make the celery, too.
Recipe for Roasted Celery Puree here. Start this first. When the celery has about 15 minutes left in the oven, get your skillet hot for the steak.
Once your pan is nice and hot (on medium), throw in your strip steak. Season with salt and pepper and sumac (a fantastic meat-seasoning spice that Janine introduced me to when I was visiting her in NYC). I like my meat rare or medium rare… depending on the size of the cut and how you like your meat, cook for approximately 5-7 minutes on each side, or until you reach your preferred done-ness. (For the record, I like my meat rare because it has more flavor, melts in your mouth, and because I’ve read that eating your meat raw or as close to raw as possible helps with the health of your teeth, and I’m all about healthy teeth, among other healthy things in general.) While your steak is cooking on the first side, prepare pan number two to wilt your arugula.
2 cups fresh, organic arugula
Heat pan to medium-high. Rinse your arugula (but don’t spin dry… a little extra water on the leaves will help). You can cook this dish without fat if you have enough water in your pan–but if you like, you can add a little butter, olive oil, or bacon fat. Once pan is hot, toss in arugula and give a good stir. Douse with 2 TBSP. of ume plum vinegar and stir until arugula has wilted. Turn off heat (and/or remove from burner if you have one of those unfortunate electric range stoves as I do). Meanwhile, your steak should be almost done. Once steak is done…
PLATE IT UP!
Portion arugula out onto plate. (DO NOT add additional the additional liquid from your arugula pan… just put the leaves on your plate.) Top arugula with 1/2-1 cup pureed celery, and then place your strip steak on top of this. Your steak should have produced some delicious juice; pour this around the edge of your wilted arugula to create a nice sauce to enjoy with your meal. And I hope that you do enjoy it! When I stumbled upon this dish (quite an accident, really… I was just cooking what I had on hand) I said to myself that I would have been more than happy had I ordered it and eaten it in an upscale restaurant (I eat at a lot of them for my job). This one is a keeper.
A delicious, easy, accident. You could easily substitute another kind of vegetable puree for the celery (cauliflower in particular comes to mind)–or serve this one up without the vegetable puree. Though it looks and tastes elaborate, this is actually a rather simple and easy dish if you’ve already got a vegetable puree on hand.