Steak Sandwiches with Chimichurri, Spicy Mayonnaise and Garden Greens

By / Photography By Coco Morante | August 17, 2015


Tender grilled flank steak is perfectly paired with artisan-style homemade condiments and lightly dressed greens, all between slices of the best local bread you can find. These simple but classy sandwiches are perfect for backyard party fare—you can prepare them a few hours in advance, and they make for utensil-free eating.

Steak Sandwiches

Serves 8 

1 Acme Herb Slab (or other focaccia or ciabatta-style loaf), cut into 8 squares and split

Chimichurri, California Style

Espelette Pepper Mayonnaise

2 pounds flank steak, grilled and thinly sliced

Lightly seasoned garden greens

If you’re serving the sandwiches right away, toast or grill the bread just before it’s time to assemble. If you’re holding them in the fridge for a few hours in advance, don’t bother toasting the bread, as it will make the lettuce wilt more quickly.

To assemble the sandwiches, spread a tablespoon of mayonnaise on the top slice of bread, and two tablespoons of chimichurri on the bottom slice. Layer the sliced steak onto the chimichurri, top the steak with greens, then place mayonnaise-spread piece of bread on top.

Refrigerate in an air-tight container or covered with plastic wrap, for up to 4 hours before serving.

Condiments: Chimichurri and Mayonnaise

These spreads taste like they came out of an artisan kitchen, but they both take just a few minutes to make. My secret weapon is my favorite electric kitchen appliance, the immersion (a.k.a. stick) blender. Simply combine your ingredients in a Mason jar (a quart-sized one for the chimichurri, and a pint or quart-sized one for the mayonnaise), then blitz away. Done.

Chimichurri, California Style

Makes about 1 cup

Made from all-fresh ingredients, this chimichurri is bursting with lemony summer flavor. If you like a little less spice, leave out the chili seeds.

1½ cups loosely packed Italian parsley leaves

1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves

¼ cup loosely packed oregano leaves

4 large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

1 Fresno chili, coarsely

Chopped (seeds included)

Juice of 2 lemons (about ¼ cup)

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

In a quart-sized Mason jar, combine the ingredients in the order listed.

Use an immersion blender to blend the ingredients in half-second pulses, just until the oil and juice begin to emulsify and the garlic is coarsely chopped and distributed throughout the sauce.

Cover the jar and refrigerate for up to 3 days before serving.

Espelette Pepper Mayonnaise

Makes about 1½ cups

Espelette pepper (a.k.a. Piment d’Espelette) can be hard to find, but its subtle heat and flavor makes it worth tracking down. I’ve bought mine from Tierra Vegetables’ SF Ferry Building Farmers Market stall, as well as the tasting room boutique at Long Meadow Ranch in Napa. Of course, you can substitute red pepper flakes or Aleppo pepper instead. Just use a bit less, as they’re both a bit spicier.

1 large egg

2 teaspoons white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

¾ teaspoon ground Espelette pepper

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

1 cup sunflower seed oil

In a wide-mouth pint- or quart-sized Mason jar, combine the ingredients in the order listed.

Slowly lower an immersion blender all the way into the jar, so it’s completely immersed in the liquid, and touching the bottom of the jar.

In half-second pulses, blend the mixture into an emulsified mayonnaise, slowly bringing the blender back up through the ingredients as you go. You’ll see the liquid around the blades turn opaque and thick as you blend from the bottom to the top of the jar.

By the time you get to the top, you’ll have a fully blended jar of spicy mayo! Give it a little stir to incorporate any small amount of oil on the top of the mixture, then cover the jar and store it for up to a week in the refrigerator.

Grilled Flank Steak

2 pounds flank steak

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1½ teaspoons fine sea salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Remove the steak from the refrigerator for at least an hour before cooking.

Blot the steak dry with paper towels, then drizzle it with the oil, rubbing it in to coat the meat evenly. Sprinkle both sides of the steak liberally with the salt and pepper.

Heat a grill pan for a few minutes over medium-high heat, or prepare coals on an outdoor grill.

Gently lay the flank steak onto the grill, and leave it in one spot to sear. For rare steak, cook it for about 5 minutes per side. For medium-rare, go 6 minutes per side and for medium, about 7 minutes (or until it registers at 140°F. with a probe thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the steak).

Transfer the steak to a carving board and allow it to rest for at least 20 minutes. Slice it thinly, against the grain.

Once the steak is sliced and cooled, it can be refrigerated for up to 3 days before serving.

Lightly Seasoned Garden Greens

Serves 8

When I add lettuce to a sandwich, I like to season it with just a bit of oil, salt and pepper. Of course you can skip this extra step if you like, but it really does help tie all of the flavors together.

6 ounces mixed lettuces, torn into bite-sized pieces (leave whole if using baby lettuces)

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

In a large salad bowl, drizzle the olive oil over the greens, then season with salt and pepper. Toss the greens well, until they are coated evenly.

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