Photograph by Roland Bello Food Styling by Maggie Ruggiero Prop Styling by Theo Vamvounakis

Steak, Caponata, and Burrata

Mains from Issue 1 – Summer 2012 – Float

A classic chargrilled steak gets the Italian treatment with the addition of rich, cinnamon-laced caponata and a knotted nest of burrata. Remember, the best burrata should live up to its name; it means buttery, and the oozing, creamy texture should be just that.

serves 4

  • 1 large egpplant, cut into ½ inch pieces (about 1¼ lbs)
  • ½ cup plus 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • tsp cinnamon
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp capers
  • a couple of fresh basil or parsley leaves, chopped
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 4 (1¼ inch thick) rib-eye or New York strip steaks
  • ½ lb fresh burrata, at room temperature

  • 1

    Toss eggplant with a ½ tsp salt and let stand in colander 30 minutes. Pat dry between sheets of paper towel.

  • 2

    Heat ¼ cup oil in a large skillet over medium heat until hot. Fry half of eggplant until golden and tender, about 5 minutes, then transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with another ¼ cup oil and fry remaining eggplant, transferring to the plate when tender.

  • 3

    Add remaining Tbsp oil to skillet and cook onion over medium heat until soft, about 8 minutes. Add garlic, pepper flakes, and cinnamon and cook 2 minutes longer. Stir in tomatoes and cook until they are softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in vinegar and capers. Return eggplant back to pan and cook 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, a pinch of sugar if you like and stir in basil. Serve warm or room temperature.

  • 4

    Season steaks with salt and pepper. Heat a heavy skillet until quite hot. Swirl a little oil in the skillet then sear steaks, in batches if necessary, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer steaks to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes.

  • 5

    Divide steaks between 4 plates and serve with caponata and thick slabs of buratta.