Spinach & Artichoke Pesto with Steak

Ahhh, it feels so good to be back in my own kitchen. As you can tell, I haven’t posted in awhile thanks to the craziness of the holidays! After spending about one month home in Ohio, then stealing a weekend away in the Outer Banks, I’ve finally made my way back to DC. To celebrate, I decided to experiment with making pesto sans basil. The result was a deliciously smooth spinach & artichoke pesto with steak.

Side note: Isn’t this cutting board beautiful!? Emily gave it to me for Christmas, and it’s high up on my list of best presents I’ve received. When I first started planning MyStyle Foods, I knew I wanted a cutting board in my logo. I love unique, handmade cutting boards and they are something I never have enough room to store. 

Ingredients
Your favorite steak! I used a bottom round cut, just because it was the cheapest option available
1 onion
Mushrooms – I used sliced white
1 cup spinach
1/2 jar marinated, quartered artichoke hearts
Walnuts
Olive oil – I used chipotle and roasted onion flavors
2-4 garlic cloves
Chef Kenny’s Cinnamon Coffee Rub
Salt
Pepper

 

This dish could definitely be elevated with fresh herbs, like a sprig of rosemary and thyme. I don’t have any at the moment *gasp* which is half the reason I decided to make pesto. To my dismay, basil appeared in every spinach pesto recipe I looked up. I knew that wasn’t a necessity, but I also didn’t want it to be bland. After searching my inventory, I came across a jar of artichoke hearts. Perfect! I’ll add this to the pesto and now we’re ready to roll.

Spinach & Artichoke Pesto
Before you start, remove your steaks from the refrigerator. Set them on the counter so they start to reach room temperature. Never cook a cold steak! When room temperature, the meat cooks much more evenly. Now, some people say this doesn’t make any difference. Hey, it might not but it still helps me organize my time in the kitchen, and I’d like to think it helps. 

Grab a food processor or a Magic Bullet and toss in a cup of spinach and about half the jar of artichoke hearts. Add more or less depending on your tastes. I don’t have pine nuts, so instead I added a few walnuts, three cloves of garlic, and olive oil. Actually, I used more garlic cloves because I loveeeeeeee me some garlic, but it came out a little strong. So, I definitely recommend using a little less than you might think.

I wanted a little more oomph, which is why I chose to use my mildly spicy chipotle flavored olive oil. Pulse everything until smooth, and continue adding olive oil until it reaches the consistency you want.

The Steak
I always go back and forth about when to cook my steak. I read a lot that people cook their meat first, then sautée the vegetables they will use. At this point, I can never do it fast enough so that my timing works out where the meat is still nice and hot when everything is done. For now, I cook the vegetables first.

Heat a cast iron pan and drizzle with olive oil. Add one sliced onion and your white mushrooms and cook until everything is a soft, golden brown color. At the last minute I decided to add some spinach leaves to this mixture to compliment the pesto. Season with salt and lemon pepper. When you’re satisfied with your veggies, transfer them to a plate or bowl. 

I seasoned my steaks with coarse sea salt, a little bit of pepper, and this delicious cinnamon coffee rub my sister got me for Christmas. Remember to make sure your pan is nice and hot – you want to hear those babies sizzle when they hit the pan! As they cooked I added two garlic cloves, sliced, because I love the taste of a roasted garlic clove. I only flip my steaks once, but you won’t hurt anything if you do it more than once. A common misconception is that multiple flips are bad, but in reality frequent flipping cooks your meat faster, and potentially more evenly. 

Once done, let them rest and watch all those mouth-watering juices seep out. Slice against the grain. Spoon mushrooms, onions, and spinach mixture on to a plate and lay your sliced meat on top. Finish it off with the spinach and artichoke pesto and get ready to feast. As I started eating, I decided to add a few crispy onions on top for an added layer of crunch. This would also be an insane filling for tacos or burritos, so keep that in mind.

Minus my heavy handedness with the garlic, I’m super happy with the way this came out. I had so much fun getting back into the swing of my own kitchen and I loved making this pesto! I have plenty leftover, so it will probably be making an appearance in other dishes this week. 

Enjoy!

Don’t forget…

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