24 April 2016

Beef Fillet Crostini with Arugula Pesto - Couch Potato Treat

So. We're hanging on the couch watching Red Sox baseball, sipping wine and eating the easiest, but most expensive open face sammies we've ever had. I'm not crabbin', though! These are wicked good!

This is possibly the easiest snack sandwich I've ever had ... ingredients list is no more than five items outside of the usual pantry staples. Today was a quiet Sunday with a brief flurry of activity at the end of the afternoon to make this couch surfer's dream. You need: a tray of beef tenderloin steak, a loaf of crusty Ciabatta bread, a bag of bitter arugula greens, fresh horseradish all ground up and pine nuts (or walnuts, if you're environmentally savvy). The rest of the ingredients are staples - olive oil, black pepper, Kosher salt,  good Parmesan cheese. I think that's it!

Making the Sammies:

1. Make the pesto. Whiz in the blender : 1 1/2 c. loosely packed arugula greens, 1 tbsp. fresh ground horseradish root, 1/3 c. toasted pine nuts, 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese ... add 1/2 c.olive oil at a drizzle, as you continue to whiz the pesto to a creamy consistency. Add Kosher salt snd black pepper to taste. Set aside.

2. Toast the bread slices -Slice the Ciabatta thinly, set on a cookie sheet, drizzle with a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper. Toast for about ten minutes in a 400 degree F oven. remove and set aside.

3. Grill the steaks and slice them - Rub the steaks with olive oil, salt and pepper. Heat a grill pan over high heat. Toss a couple spears  of rosemary sprigs on the hot pan. Lay the steaks over top the rosemary. Sear the steaks for two minutes each side. Remove from the meat to a cutting board and let rest a minute or two. Slice thinly.

4. Assemble the sammies - Scatter some fresh arugula greens on the Ciabatta toasts. Lay tenderloin slices on the greens. Drizzle the pesto over top. Sprinkle on black pepper and another thin drizzle of olive oil.

5. Pour the wine and grab a napkin.

6. Knosh those sammies!


Toast that bread! Don't be lazy! It stands up to the moisture of the arugula greens and oil in the pesto and meat juices far better when it has crunch! Use fresh ground horseradish. It will give you such a kick of hot spice! Add a bit of fresh basil to the pesto for a little bit of more traditional flavour. Don't be afraid to use walnuts instead of pine nuts ... they will be just fine! DO be generous with the salt and pepper, but taste taste taste!

I did the prep on these sammies an hour before the ball game and then cooked the steaks and assembled just before the game started ... then it was just a matter of pouring wine, grabbing napkins and enjoying the small bites. YUM!

Now about that beef tenderloin. Watch it closely and keep it rare ... my pan was too hot and the tenderloins cooked too fast. The meat was just fine texture-wise, but it didn't have that ultra-pink juiciness that I love (damn it!).  The lesson here is to have everything completely prepped and ready for assembling before those steaks come off the pan.

Regardless, I knoshed as the next batch came off the pan and was assembled. This was a recipe worth repeating ...

This is a Curtis Stone recipe ... and it's a keeper.

I'm so intrigued by Curtis Stone that I am sticking with the folks at the I Heart Cooking Club's weekly recipe share ... check it out! This kid's talented. Just sayin'.


  1. Glad you are enjoying our time with Curtis. ;-) This recipe looks like a keeper for sure. I love the color with the arugula leaves and pesto.

  2. Yes, knosh those sammies! They look sooooo good!

  3. This is more than a couch surfer's dream. It's every one's dream. You picked a great one, just sayin', especially with the horseradish in the pesto.

  4. Wow, they look fabulous. It's so unusual to see horseradish in pesto - I can imagine just how perfect it was with your beautiful cut of beef.

  5. Delicious sammies! I love pesto but have never tried fresh horseradish before. This is the prefect meal on the sofa!

  6. I don't eat meat, but goodness do I want to munch on one of those, they look so good!


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