Photograph by Grant Cornett Food Styling by Maggie Ruggiero Prop Styling by Theo Vamvounakis

Charred Steak and Black Olive Sandwiches

Mains from Issue 7 – Summer 2015 – Spectrum

Bone black—the deepest darkest pigment favored by the likes of Rembrandt—is made by heating bones (animal, not human, as it was once rumored) with coals in a crucible until the desired blue-black hue is achieved. Our steak—skirt, not flank, for optimal tenderness—benefits from a similar char before burrowing against a jet-black olive relish, dusky Kumato tomatoes, and twilight-hued lettuce.

serves 4

  • 1 ¼ lb skirt steak, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 ciabatta rolls
  • red lettuce or purple watercress
  • sliced Kumato tomatoes
  • mayonnaise

olive relish
  • 1 ½ cups pitted Kalamata olives, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup finely chopped basil
  • 2 Tbsp drained capers
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar

  • 1

    Lightly season the steaks. Heat a skillet or grill over high heat. Lightly oil the skillet or brush the steaks with a little oil if grilling. Sear or grill, turning occasionally; for medium rare, about 6-7 minutes total for the thicker pieces, and about 3 minutes for any thinner pieces. Let rest 5 minutes before slicing.

  • 2

    While steaks rest, stir together the olives, basil, capers, and vinegar.

  • 3

    Serve sliced steak on rolls slathered with plenty of black olive relish and mayonnaise, then topped with lettuce and tomatoes.