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Pizzaiola sauce is usually spooned over a strip, rib eye or sirloin steak. I prefer this lightened-up, fresh tomato version spooned over very thinly sliced steak with a simple salad on the side.



  • 2 1 1/2-pound strip steaks
  • 3 to 4 rosemary stems
  • 6 cloves garlic, 2 crushed and 4 sliced
  • Olive oil, for drizzling (steak and salad) plus 2 tablespoons
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 3 pints cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, finely chopped or 1 teaspoon dried, lightly crushed in your palm
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons chili/pepperoncini flakes
  • About 2 tablespoons aged Balsamic vinegar or Balsamic drizzle
  • 3/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 6 to 8 cups baby kale and/or arugula
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Young to medium-age Pecorino Romano, Pecorino Pepato (pecorino with black pepper) or Pecorino with red pepper flakes, shaved with a vegetable peeler


Serves: 4-6


Unwrap the steak and place the rosemary and crushed garlic on top. Rewrap in butcher paper or plastic wrap and chill overnight.
Bring meat to room temperature. Drizzle meat with olive oil and season liberally with Kosher salt and lots of coarse black pepper.  
Heat a grill pan or cast-iron pan to high or prepare an outdoor grill.  
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in large skillet with a lid over medium-high heat. Add the fennel seed, stir 15-30 seconds then add tomatoes, oregano, chili flakes, salt and pepper. Cover pan with a lid and cook 15-20 minutes until all the tomatoes burst, shaking pan frequently without removing lid. Add balsamic to the sauce and stir in parsley.
Grill meat 12-15 minutes for medium-rare (go 2 minutes less for rare and 3-5 minutes more for medium-well). Let rest 10-15 minutes. Thinly slice the meat against the grain.
Dress greens with lemon juice, salt and olive oil to lightly coat; toss with shaved cheese.
Serve sliced steak with sauce spooned across the top and greens alongside.