- Four 8-ounce skirt steaks
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 tablespoons Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup fregola*
- 1/2 large red onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1 fennel bulb, top removed, halved, cored, and thinly sliced
- 8 radishes, end trimmed, thinly sliced
- 1/2 pound arugula
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 navel oranges, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
- 1/2 cup Green Olive Tapenade
Lay the skirt steak flat on a baking sheet and season evenly on both sides with the chili powder, salt, and pepper. Set aside so the flavors can sink in a bit.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a rapid boil over medium-high heat. Add the fregola and stir with a wooden spoon. Cook the pasta for 15 minutes until the pellets are al dente. Drain and cool.
Preheat an outdoor grill or a grill pan to medium-high heat. Rub the grill with oil to prevent sticking. Grill the onion slices for 2 minutes, turning often, until charred on both sides. Remove them from the grill and set aside.
Lay the steaks on the grill and cook, turning with tongs from time to time, to sear well on all sides; this takes about 8 minutes total for medium-rare. Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and let rest for 2 or 3 minutes to allow the juices to recirculate.
In the meantime, make the salad. In a large mixing bowl, combine the fregola, grilled onion, fennel, radishes, arugula, lemon juice, and olive oil. Toss to combine; season with salt and pepper.
To serve, divide the salad among 4 or 6 plates. Arrange 4 or 5 slices of orange on top of each plate. Cut each skirt steak into 3 equal pieces, then turn each piece sideways and cut into thin slices against the grain, ensuring tenderness. Shingle the sliced meat on top of the salad. Spoon some of the tapenade on top and serve immediately.
*TIP: Fregola, sometimes called Italian couscous, is a terrific addition to your pantry. It’s much more interesting than regular pasta and has a unique texture. The pasta dough is rubbed by hand to form little pellets, which are then toasted to give a distinctive nutty flavor. If hard pressed, you can use Israeli couscous, but there really is no substitute for fregola. It is worth getting your hands on. It also makes great risotto.
Green Olive Tapenade
Makes about 1 cup
- 2 cups pitted green olives, such as Picholine
- 4 salted anchovy fillets, rinsed
- 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Put all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse 3 or 4 times. Scrape down the sides of the processor and pulse 2 more times; the tapenade should be coarsely chopped. It will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Created by Chef Michael Schwartz