Grilled Flank Steak with Charred Green Onion Pesto

By • July 20, 2011 28 Comments

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Author Notes: I will admit I'm not much of a grill master. I confess to using a gas grill which is akin to a crime for grilling purists. For me the convenience is key. The downside is the lack of charcoal flavor, and my solution is to cheat a little. Some smoky lapsang souchong tea in a disposable tray on the grill adds a nice touch of flavor to a quickly grilled cut of meat.

To accompany the meat I wanted to make a sauce that would enhance the grill flavor. A gorgeous photo of grilled green onions on a magazine cover gave me inspiration. I combined them with smoked almonds into a warm pesto. This easily makes enough for 2 flank steaks. Feel free to halve the recipe if you want, but don't worry if you have left-overs. The pesto is also lovely tossed with some grilled or roasted potatoes. - - hardlikearmour

Food52 Review: Charred green onions! Who could resist? And then there's the fact that I received special dispensation from hardlikearmour to use pepitas and some judicious drops of Liquid Smoke in place of her original smoked almonds (pesky nut allergy). What I really want to say is “Make This Now!” Whether she's a grill master or not -- and I for one don't believe she's all that incompetent -- this pesto is the stuff of legends. Make it once and you'll never stop. - boulangereboulangere

Serves 3, with extra pesto

Grilled Flank Steak

  • 1 & ½ pound flank or bavette steak
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons lapsang souchong or other smoky tea
  • water in a spray bottle
  • freshly ground black pepper
  1. Pat your steak dry, then season with salt on both sides and allow to rest at room temperature for 45 to 60 minutes. Prep your pesto through step 1 while the steak is resting. Heat your grill on high for the last 15 minutes of the resting time.
  2. Place tea leaves in a shallow aluminum tray and spritz with water. You want them to be damp but not soaked.
  3. Place aluminum tray on the cooler end of the grill and place steak on the hotter end. Close the lid. Quickly turn the steak after 5 to 6 minutes, and close the lid. The tea should be smoking nicely by now and the steak should have nice grill marks. Remove the steak to a platter after 2 to 4 more minutes depending on the heat of your grill and how done you like it. If you test by cutting and peeking, make sure to remove it when it is more rare than you want as it will continue to cook a bit.
  4. Season with pepper, cover loosely with foil and let the steak rest while you finish the pesto (about 10 minutes.)
  5. Scrape the grill and turn the heat down to medium.

Charred green onion pesto

  • ½ cup smoked or tamari almonds
  • packed ½ cup flat-leaf parsley
  • medium clove garlic, coarsely chopped
  • zest from 1 lemon (medium to large sized)
  • juice from ½ lemon
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 bunches green onions, preferably fatter ones
  • canola oil
  • fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  1. Place almonds in bowl of food processor with blade attachment. Pulse 5 to 6 times then process for 10 to 15 seconds, until no large chunks of almonds remain. Add the parsley, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Cover until you are ready to proceed.
  2. Remove roots and any unattractive greens from the onions. Trim an inch or so off the ends of the greens. Lightly coat with oil, then season with salt and pepper.
  3. Grill onions 60 to 90 seconds on each side, until they are softened and grill marks have formed. Remove the onions to a cutting board.
  4. Discard any overly blackened greens. Coarsely chop the remaining onions, then add to the food processor bowl. Pulse 6 to 8 times; scrape the sides of the bowl. Process for several seconds, then pour the melted butter into the feed tube. Stop, and scrape the bowl, then process for an additional 10 to 15 seconds until it looks like pesto. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if needed.
  5. Slice the steak about ¾- to 1-inch thick, across the grain. Serve with the green onion pesto. Enjoy!

More Great Recipes: Entrees|Condiments|Beef & Veal|Steak|Pesto

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