We had to throw in a rogue dinner last night. Sometimes even the best laid meal plans will leave you thinking, “I’m just not in the mood for that”. Fortunately we had a flank steak in the freezer and plenty of vegetables on hand so we were able to pivot to a new dinner idea without a trip to the store. (How are you feeling about the word pivot? Were you part of the great 2020 pivot and it’s now part of your identity or are you over the term entirely?)
Yesterday morning we pulled this flank steak out of the freezer and I really was not sure what I was going to do with it. We tend to marinate flank steak in homemade teriyaki or slice it against the grain for stir fry, both of which have a lot of added sugar. And though the chimichurri we made earlier this month was delicious on flank steak, the meat itself was pretty bland. We needed a lot more than salt and pepper, but that sugar free restriction felt a little daunting.
I threw the Ziploc freezer bag of meat in a bowl of water to thaw, (which is a great trick to have up your sleeve if you don’t already, it will cut your thawing time in half easily) and got to work knowing I would have to come up with something quick on my lunch break. When 12:30 rolled around I had exactly one half hour to both feed myself and marinate the steak. I was eating leftover salad with dijon vinaigrette and thought why not make a more pungent version of the dressing for my marinade? Hopefully that time frame explains the lack of step by step photos, but truth be told you really don’t need them. Just whisk 1 tablespoon each dijon and red wine vinegar with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 large cloves of garlic, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and a lot of freshly ground black pepper. The marinade was thick and there was not a ton of it so I flipped the steak several times making sure all parts of the meat were well coated before covering it in saran wrap and putting back in the fridge.
The green beans were also an experiment. I wanted something light and spring like, and frankly without garlic. I love garlic, but sometimes I think we can lean a little too heavily on it for flavor. It does not have to be in every single dish we make. I minced up a small shallot and some Italian parsley, grated some lemon zest and gave it a try. And… they were perfect! The green beans were crisp but tender and the flavors were excellent. I definitely think you should try this recipe.
All my basil chopping the other night had me thinking about marinated summer tomatoes, which I love. While these are not summer tomatoes they were still yummy drizzled with olive oil and balsamic, freshly ground black pepper and course finishing salt, and those piled up slivers of fresh basil!
All in all it was a delicious dinner and both the marinade and the green beans are worth repeating. I’m typing out the bean recipe because that is the one I think you’ll enjoy most. Let me know how they turn out!
Sauteed Green Beans with Shallots and Lemon
- Nonstick Skillet with Lid
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp minced shallot
- 3/4 lb green beans, rinsed and trimmed
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- kosher salt
- 1 tbsp Italian parsley, minced
- Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add olive oil, heat 30 seconds then add minced shallots. Cook shallots until soft and beginning to brown stirring frequently, about 2 minutes.
- Add green beans, lemon zest and a large pinch of kosher salt, toss so they are well coated in both shallots and zest. Squeeze lemon over beans and cover. Reduce heat to medium low.
- Cook until beans are tender but still have a little snap to them. This will vary depending on the thickness of the beans, mine took about 8 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add parsley. Serve immediately.