You all might be getting sick of my husband stories. I know, believe me, we do not need to know about every couple’s every move. But, I try not to be so PDA (public display of affection) style. So, maybe you guys don’t mind.
Regardless of all this, I had to make something for my husband’s birthday. Out of the four years we have been together, two of them married, I have never cooked for him on his birthday. We opt for going out. When, I first met my husband, in the early stages, I made lofty promises that I would make my husband this and that, including a rack of lamb (forget about it), an all-American burger (done!) and other things I can’t even bother to remember.
On this birthday, I was stumped, I even considered making the rack of lamb, but the butcher only had one sorry-looking rack left. Thus, I was saved from that task. My husband is a carnivore, so I knew red meat would have to be an option. I love ribeye steaks, so juicy, tender, and flavorful. I picked some up and went on from there.
At the farmer’s market, I saw garlic scapes, for the first time in person. They almost reminded me of coiled parrot-green snakes, smooth and bright. I have been intrigued by them for a few years and really wanted to use the garlic scapes in a dish. The vendor told me they are great grilled or in a pesto. I bought them and brought them home, and decided to try and make a salsa out of them. Mind you, I was taking a risk on my husband’s birthday dinner and it may have well all failed and we would be going out for his birthday. Thankfully, the salsa came together nicely. Pungent, herbacious and ready to take on the bold flavors of the steak.
All that was left was the the corn salad. It was so simple and fresh. As a last-minute addition I decided to toss in some toasted pumpkin seeds. The crunch, texture, and most of all the salty goodness really elevated the salad. I was proud of myself for coming up with this meal for my husband’s birthday. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole process and loved actually plating the dish in restaurant style. For me, it’s all about the colors and this dish delivered vibrancy. Most of all my husband loved it.
Ribeye Steaks with a Garlic Scape Salsa Verde and an Avocado, Corn, Tomato Salad
Serves 2 big eaters
for the Salsa Verde:
10-15 garlic scapes
1/2 a bunch cilantro
1 cup packed basil leaves
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded if you wish
juice of one juicy lime
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
water to loosen it up, if necessary
On a grill pan or sauté pan, cook the garlic scapes on medium heat for about 15 minutes, or until they are lightly charred. Add all the herbs including the garlic scapes into a blender or food processor. Begin to pulse a few times, toss in the jalapenos, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Run your blender or food processor until everything is finely chopped, next stream in the extra virgin olive oil until everything is uniform and combined. If the mixture is too thick, loosen it up with some water. If you want to be extra perfect run the sauce through a sieve, I didn’t do this. Before serving, lightly warm the salsa verde in a saucepan.
for the Avocado, Corn, and Tomato Salad:
1 cup fresh corn
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes,halved
1 avocado, in chunks
juice of one lime
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
a few sprigs of cilantro, chives, and garlic scapes, chopped
2 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
Mix together all the ingredients—so simple!
for the Steaks:
2- 1 pound ribeye steaks, at room temperature, I used boneless
generous amounts of salt and black pepper)
drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Season the steaks with the salt and pepper on both sides and drizzle with a little olive oil. Heat a large oven-safe sauté pan on the stove (medium heat). Place the steaks in the hot pan on the stove and do not touch them for about 5 minutes. Flip them over and cook for one minute on the stove top and transfer the pan to oven for 4-5 more minutes for medium rare. Remove them from the oven and let them rest for 10-15 minutes.
to assemble the plate:
Spoon the salsa verde on the bottom of a plate, as much as you like, I used about 1/2 a cup per plate. Place the rested steak on top, if you wish you can slice it against the grain on an angle and arrange it over top, I chose to leave it whole. Place some of the corn salad on top on the steak and sprinkle a few toasted pumpkin seeds around the plate.
*No birthday is complete without a cake. So, I also made him his favorite vanilla bean cheesecake, which I will put up soon.