When I was an apprentice farmer at The Farm School, the Spannocchia Foundation invited us to work for three weeks on their farm in Tuscany. Traveling throughout Italy had always been a dream of mine so I was beyond excited, even if it was in the dead of winter. A couple of my fellow apprentice farmers and I decided to tack a few extra weeks on to our trip to visit Rome, Umbria, Florence and Venice. In Florence, I was introduced to the classic Italian dish, Bistecca alla Fiorentina, which is essentially just a Porterhouse steak, but man, did it leave an impression. The first time I had the steak it was paired with a beautiful arugula salad, and the bitterness of the greens provided the perfect balance to the richness of the steak. Oh, I miss Italy… Anyway, we can’t all eat Porterhouse steaks all the time, so this recipe, inspired by my trip, calls for skirt steak, which is relatively inexpensive, but super delicious. Buon Appetito!

Skirt Steak with Arugula

skirt steak – about 6 oz. per person
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 large bunch of arugula
balsamic vinegar
Parmesan cheese

Heat a grill pan, large saute pan, or grill until hot. Meanwhile, drizzle a bit of olive oil on both sides of your steaks and season both sides generously with salt and pepper (if you have any fresh rosemary, chop one or two sprigs and add with the salt and pepper). Add steak to pan or grill and cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side. Four minutes for medium rare, about five for medium, etc. Let the steak rest for 10 minutes before carving.
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While the steak is resting, shave some Parmesan cheese onto the arugula and about 1-2 minutes before you are ready to carve the steak add olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste, and toss (always add the oil first and always use more oil than vinegar). Plate arugula with sliced steak.
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Roasted Cauliflower

We had a half a head of cauliflower from another dish I made earlier in the week so I decided to serve it alongside the steak.

1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets*
1 TB. olive oil
salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese

* ingredients that can be prepped several days ahead.

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Toss cauliflower on a baking sheet with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in the oven for about 15-20 minutes. About halfway through, toss the cauliflower so all of the florets are nicely browned. At the very end of roasting, sprinkle a little bit of Parmesan cheese on top and let it melt before serving.
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