Cast Iron

Flank Steak with Green Sauce

May  4, 2015
3 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 8 to 10
Author Notes

The back-pocket recipe you'll want on hand always, and especially in case of dinner party emergency. —Amanda Hesser

What You'll Need
  • 2 1/2 pounds flank steak
  • Salt
  • 2 cups packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 cup packed basil leaves
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 teaspoons capers
  • 2 anchovy fillets
  • Pinches Piment d'Espelette or red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cups olive oil
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 2 lemons, cut into wedges
  1. Generously season the steak and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, put the parsley, basil, garlic, capers, anchovies and Piment d'Espelette in a food processor or blender (a blender will produce a smoother sauce; I prefer a coarser sauce—either is fine. Go your own way!). Add a pinch of salt. Pulse the mixture until the leaves are broken down. With the machine running, begin adding the oil in a slow steady stream. If you like a dense green sauce, 1/2 cup of oil will do—if you want it to be looser, then keep adding oil. Add half the lemon juice and taste. Add more lemon, salt, or Piment d'Espelette to taste—I like the sauce to have a spark of heat but not be hot.
  2. Set an oven rack 4 to 5 inches from the broiler flame, then heat the broiler. I like to broil the steak in a cast-iron pan, but you can use a baking sheet or broiler pan—whatever you have. Broil the steak for 3 minutes per side for medium rare (if your broiler is weak you may need 4 minutes per side). Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Thinly slice the steak across the grain. Serve on a big platter, passing a bowl of lemon wedges and a bowl with the green sauce.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Maire Murphy
    Maire Murphy
  • Can I have a bite?
    Can I have a bite?
  • Randi
  • Bret
  • Meredith Galloway
    Meredith Galloway
Amanda Hesser

Recipe by: Amanda Hesser

Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I've written several books, including "Cooking for Mr. Latte" and "The Essential New York Times Cookbook." I played myself in "Julie & Julia" -- hope you didn't blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.

38 Reviews

Amy April 28, 2023
Alternative to anchovies please?
Amanda H. April 30, 2023
You can skip them -- the sauce will still be good!
Maire M. April 14, 2023
Shun knives are the best - life changing in fact especially for herbs and cutting onions.
MikNik August 4, 2020
A great (and easy) success. And lesson learned: it turns out flank steak really is tender and delicious with no marinating beforehand.
Can I. May 25, 2017
I've been making this for a few years, but just discovered a new use for the leftover sauce: roasted vegetables. It is amazing. Just roast your veg as usual and toss with some sauce. I freeze the extra in smallish portions and thaw as needed in a bowl of warm water.
Amanda H. May 25, 2017
Thanks for this tip!
SDW March 16, 2017
This is amazing. So easy and a major crowd pleaser. I marinated the steak beforehand in a soy/wine/onion marinade but then served the green sauce alongside and it was a huge hit (with a pretty discerning crowd).
Randi December 18, 2016
This sauce is delicious! I've served it on steak, fish, and salad. I've also made a version with cilantro in place of Basil.
Lemoni June 13, 2016
What would be some good sides to go with this? I've committed myself to hosting a dinner party on Friday and am feeling uninspired.
Amanda H. June 18, 2016
Lemoni, so sorry not to reply sooner, I was traveling. I hope you figured out a good menu -- what did you make?
Bret October 5, 2015
Who in blazes has filleted anchovies just sitting around? I mean common, people. Many of these recipies are good, but then you guys send out these zingers.
robin L. October 5, 2015
Actually, I made this sauce and it's as simple as it sounds, and tasty. And you'd be surprised how many grocery stores carry filleted anchovies these days. (Pretty sure I got mine at our local Safeway.) Good to have around if you want to make your own Caesar dressing, too. (And they last long.)
mc April 14, 2023
Really? anchovy fillets in little tins and jars are a pantry staple.
Meredith G. July 3, 2015
What kind of marinade? so that
It wont change taste when I add sauce..I love a nice marinade
Amanda H. July 5, 2015
Hi Meredith, I'd probably keep the marinade simple -- olive oil, lemon juice, crushed garlic, dried chile, and salt. Good luck!
Can I. June 22, 2015
This sauce was so good
Amanda H. July 5, 2015
Glad you liked it!
Mike S. May 28, 2015
I can't wait to make this tonight! My oven has two settings for the broiler: high and low. How do I know which to use?
Amanda H. May 28, 2015
I'd say go with high -- you want pretty strong heat to cook the steak. Low seems like what you'd use for toast.
Mike S. May 28, 2015
Good to know -- thank you!
Mike S. May 29, 2015
This was so delicious and simple that I want to cry about it. The sauce was so spectacular that I want to take a bath in it and then marry it.
Amanda H. May 29, 2015
robin L. May 25, 2015
I'm always worried about flank steak (even if I've bought the best I can find either at Whole Foods or our local butcher), that it won't be tender if it's not marinated a day or two ahead of time...But, no need? Is the secret to slice it as paper-thinly as possible? (If I wanted to marinate it, how would you recommend...?)
Amanda H. May 27, 2015
Yes, thin slices help and the key is cutting across the grain. I haven't found a need to marinate but of course there's no harm in doing so!
ajgingrich May 25, 2015
Is grilling just as good or does broiling work best? I'm not really good with the broiler
Amanda H. May 25, 2015
Grilling is great, too!
dancingdar May 22, 2015
Just to make sure, the steak is only seasoned with salt in the first step?
Amanda H. May 22, 2015
Yes -- that's it!
Susan C. May 12, 2015
Crosby May 8, 2015
I had problems with the cooking time. Broiler on high for 5 minutes a side. Let it rest for 10 and cut into the meat. By the third slice realized the middle was still completely raw. Had to put it back in the oven but lost some of the tenderness.
Amanda H. May 8, 2015
Yes -- this all depends on your broiler and the distance between the flame/heating element and the steak. In my oven, it really does take just 3 minutes per side for medium rare. But everyone's oven is different. Thanks for noting this!
amysarah May 7, 2015
Pretty sure it's cut across the grain - flank steak is tough if you cut with it. I agree about flank steak - I frequently buy a couple on sale (not quite as cheap as it used to be) in warm weather for entertaining insurance. If they don't get eaten within a few days, they defrost quickly later.
AntoniaJames May 7, 2015
So do I . . . I always buy twice or 3 times what we need, and marinate it all, putting the extra marinated steaks in the freezer. A great time saver and of course, the long marination makes the steak so much more tender. (During grilling season, i do the same thing with chicken, usually at the same time as the steaks. Grilling regularly, and effortlessly, guaranteed.) ;o)
mimi3 May 15, 2017
What marinade do you use? I never thought of putting the marinated steak in the freezer. Great idea.
Mimi H. May 5, 2015
Yes---it looks like it was cut with the grain. ???
Amanda H. May 8, 2015
I know -- it does look that way, but it was cut across the grain for the photo!
dymnyno May 5, 2015
Did you cut the steak with the grain or on the diagonal?
(makes a great next day salad, too)
Amanda H. May 8, 2015
It was cut across the grain.