Classic Bistecca and Arugula Salad

Created by Cristian Pietoso, Executive Chef, Via Vite
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Product, product, product is Chef Pietoso’s mantra. “A good charcoal grill, good meat, good olive oil, and ripe tomatoes are all you need for a fantastic summer meal.” He also emphasizes the importance of a low flame. “Let the flavor of the bone melt into the meat.” He suggests adding some crunchy bread rubbed with garlic and grilled for an “intensely flavored” mid-summer dinner.

Bistecca

1 porterhouse steak, approx. 3 lbs and 2 1/2 to 3 inches thick.

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (Pietoso prefers Capezzana, available at Jungle Jim’s)

Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Rub steak with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Over medium-hot charcoal, or a combination of charcoal and wood chips, grill five minutes on each side, then let steak stand vertically “on the bone” for 10–12 minutes before serving. (Pietoso insists that this standing is crucial, and that the steak has enough heft to support itself).

Arugula Salad

1 lb ripe tomatoes

1/2 lb arugula

1 lemon, juiced

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

salt

pepper

If tomatoes are small, leave whole; if large, cut into thick wedges. Sprinkle tomatoes with salt and “cracked at the moment” black pepper. Grill for 5 minutes. Mix lemon juice and olive oil and toss with tomatoes and arugula.

Sgroppino

4 oz grapefruit sorbet (Pietoso uses Madisono’s)

3 oz grapefruit vodka (Pietoso likes Finlandia)

1 oz prosecco (Italian sparkling wine)

In a blender, blend sorbet and vodka together until slushy. Add prosecco at the last second (so as to not weaken its sparkling quality). Pour into two glasses.

Originally published in the July 2008 issue.

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