Appetizer & First Course, Meat
St. Nectaire & Grilled Flank Steak Pizza
with Arugula-Walnut Salad
1 Tbs. butter
3 Tbs. olive oil, divided
1 red onion, sliced (with the grain)
Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 Tbs. balsamic vinegar, divided
6 oz. flank steak or 2 medium portobello mushrooms
1 sprig fresh rosemary, chopped
4 small (4-oz.), par-baked pizza crusts
7 tsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
4 oz. St. Nectaire cheese, cut into small pieces
2 c. arugula
1/2 c. toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
Red Onion: Melt butter and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in medium saute pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, salt & pepper; saute until golden brown and tender-crisp. Add 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, stirring quickly to distribute evenly; transfer to small bowl and set aside.
Portobello or Flank Steak: Rub portobellos or steak with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons balsamic, rosemary, salt & pepper; marinate 20 minutes. Fire up the grill; alternately, heat cast-iron grill pan over medium heat. Grill mushrooms 4 minutes per side, turning 90° as needed to attain crisscross pattern and avoid burning. Let rest for 5 minutes; slice thinly and set aside.
If using steak, grill each side in the same manner to desired doneness, about 130° for medium-rare. Let rest for 10 minutes; slice thinly against the grain and set aside.
Assemble Pizzas & Bake: Place pizza stone or inverted sheet pan on bottom rack of oven; preheat to 450°. Drizzle 1-1/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil on each of 4 pizza crusts and sprinkle with salt. Dot each crust with 1 ounce of St. Nectaire. Divide red onions and mushrooms, if using, between each crust. Bake until cheese is bubbling and crusts are golden brown. Using a pizza paddle, transfer pizzas to cutting board; divide sliced steak between each pizza. Let pizzas rest a moment -- this will allow the steak to warm up a bit, the cheese to settle, and provide time to toss the salad.
In small bowl toss arugula with remaining teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, walnuts and a pinch of salt. Cut pizzas into wedges and garnish with arugula-walnut salad.
Carb-friendly version: omit pizza crust and toss ingredients together for a tasty salad.
Time-friendly version: layer ingredients on grilled artisan bread for an amazing sandwich.