"Grilling makes everything taste better -- even winter tomatoes," says a headline in the January-February issue of Cooking Light magazine.
The feature, written by Joanne Weir, suggests simple ways to satisfy a craving for tomatoes in a season when they're not at their best. The five techniques she lists to help improve texture and add flavor to the wan offerings on grocery shelves are: marinating, roasting, oven drying, braising and grilling -- all good for low-fat dishes.
In this steak and salsa recipe, Weir explains that the high heat used in grilling quickly caramelizes the natural sugars, producing slightly charred, juicy tomatoes with rich flavor.
Grilled Steak With Charred Tomato Salsa
1 pound large tomatoes, cored, cut in half horizontally, and seeded (about 2 medium)
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon basil-flavored olive oil (see note)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 basil leaves, thinly sliced
1 pound boneless sirloin steak
Place tomato halves, cut sides down, on paper towels. Let stand 30 minutes.
Heat a grill pan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Place tomato halves, cut sides down, in pan; grill 5 minutes. Turn tomato halves; grill 1 minute or until the skin is blackened. Remove from pan; cool 5 minutes. Cut tomato halves into 1-inch pieces. Combine tomato, onion, vinegar, oil, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper and basil.
Sprinkle steak with 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Place steak in pan coated with cooking spray; grill 6 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut the steak diagonally across grain into thin slices. Serve with the tomato salsa.
Makes 4 servings (each 3 ounces steak and about 1/4 cup tomato salsa).
Nutrition information per serving: 206 cal., 8 g total fat (2.8 g saturated fat), 26.4 g pro., 6.6 g carbo., 1.6 g fiber, 76 mg chol., 213 mg sodium.
Note: To make your own basil oil: Heat 1/4 cup chopped basil and 1/4 cup olive oil in a small pan over low heat just until the oil sizzles. Remove from heat and let sit about an hour or until cool. Strain and discard the basil. The oil will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
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