We had a version of this recipe in a tiny Trattoria, in the magical backstreets of Florence. Compared to traditional and lets be honest, slightly bloating Italian pastas and pizzas, this recipe is modern Italian cuisine. It’s fresh, it’s tasty and it’s really, really simple to make. Before you start get everything else ready, such as bread and any other vegetables you want to serve. You need to work fast.
2 garlic cloves
200g wild baby rocket
2 sirloin or rump steaks, about 300g each, at room temperature
4-6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 sprig of rosemary or thyme
2 strips of lemon peel (from an unwaxed lemon)
juice of 1 lemon
60g parmesan, shaved
1. Bash the garlic with the side of a knife and wash the salad leaves and dry in a salad spinner.
2.Heat a heavy-bottomed frying-pan until really hot, add a thin film of olive oil and heat until the oil is just beginning to smoke. Season the steaks and fry for 2½ minutes, turn over and cook until rare to medium rare. Take the pan off the heat and put the steaks on a warm plate. Cover with foil and leave to rest.
3. There won’t be much oil in the pan but whatever there is throw it out. Don’t wipe the pan, though – there’s flavour in it. Add the extra-virgin olive oil and heat over a medium flame. Throw in the garlic, rosemary and lemon zest. Allow the flavourings to infuse in the oil for three minutes, then add the lemon juice and take off the heat. Careful, it might spit. Add the juices from the resting steak to the dressing. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Cut the steaks into slices about 1/2 cm thick. Place a handful of rocket in each bowl and pour some of the dressing on top. Arrange the steak on top and scatter with parmesan, add another handful of rocket then pour on the rest of the dressing. Sprinkle more salt over the whole thing and a good grinding of pepper, too. Serve immediately.
Mr McDonald’s remark: “Mmm, delicious! Perfect for a warm summer’s day!”