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Jul 3, 2013 11:31 AM

Sides for Bistecca alla Fiorentina

We're having seven for dinner on Friday. Grilling outside and it's likely to be warm. Had planned on a side of potatoes gratin but that seems awfully heavy. Starting with a Caesar salad, ending with plum/pluot crostata. So what would go best with the steak? (I would rather not do more grilling.)

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  1. If you want potatoes, maybe a warm potato salad instead? With a nice tart mustard vinaigrette, perhaps. A cold or room temp orzo or couscous salad could be good too, with grilled vegetables (which could be done well in advance so as not to interfere with your steak grilling).

    1. Spinaci aglio e olio. Or brocoli di rapa, same way

      2 Replies
      1. re: rjbh20

        Those both sound great but not sure I want to do spinach for 7. I'm hoping for something that will be the starch component of the dish.

        1. re: escondido123

          Keeping with the Toscano theme, fagioli con rosmarino or pasta e fagioli, though the latter would probably never be seen as anything but a primi in Italy.

      2. This orzo salad is wonderful and can be made ahead and served at room temp:

        I usually double the amount of arugula and basil and use more than lemon juice than called for.

        4 Replies
        1. re: TorontoJo

          Great sounding recipe. It's cherry season so thinking of using fresh instead of dried--what do you think?

          1. re: escondido123

            I think it would be amazing with fresh cherries -- beautiful color, too. The recipe has such a great balance of salty from the cheese, sweet from the cherries, bitter from the arugula, and brightness from the lemon and basil.

            BTW, I usually add more pinenuts, too, because I love the texture.

              1. re: escondido123

                I would prep all the ingredients a day ahead and just toss everything together the day of. I'm perfectly happy with day (or more) old leftovers, but the cherries tend to stain the pasta and the arugula gets a little wilted.

        2. This is a good do-ahead side for grilled dishes. Take some baby red or fingerling potatoes and grill them until they have a slight char. Cut them up and then mix with grated parmesan, chopped fresh rosemarly/chives/parsley, salt and pepper, garlic powder, olive oil and little bit of vinegar. Mix it all up and serve at room temperature.

          1. My mom made the most wonderful baby potatoes in the micro to serve with grilled steak. Easy to do a head of time and then serve room temp or make right before and serve hot. Just toss them with olive oil, some smashed garlic cloves and fresh rosemary and nuke until done. Timing depends on size of potatoes and how many you cook. You already have a salad but a side of lightly steamed/buttered green beans would be nice too

            5 Replies
            1. re: foodieX2

              Could I do these a day ahead and then let come to room temp?

              1. re: escondido123

                yes, they hold up wonderfully. The might get a little "wrinkly" but still taste fabulous.

              2. re: foodieX2

                Potatoes+green beans is such a nice pair. I'd consider taking it a little further and putting together a sort of salade Niçoise, minus the greens (since you have salad) and minus the tuna (since, um, the steak). Potatoes and hard cooked eggs could be done in advance, but I'd leave the green beans until day-of to keep their green. Some tomatoes/olives/capers...whatever constituent parts of salade Niçoise that float your boat. It has almost a "relish-tray" vibe that I think would go well with the steak.

                1. re: cayjohan

                  Your post reminded me that I have a couple pounds of green beans fresh from the farmers' market so here's what I think is the final "dish." Green beans done in a mustard vinaigrette, roasted new potatoes and some heirloom tomatoes--all on one large platter so folks can pick what they want. Maybe some arugula under it all for another green. I will be making a chimichurri for the steak....thanks all for your help.

                  1. re: escondido123

                    And thank you for the inspiration: I'm going to *steal* that menu for this weekend! Crossing my fingers for local beans, as it's been a lousy growing season so far, but have an order in to my local shop for some 2" porterhouse steaks. Sounds like a great summer weekend meal!