GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Every summer when gardens and farmers markets are in full bloom, there's always an abundance of tomatoes, lettuce greens, and herbs. Chef Kirsten Renee says finding ways to use these abundant garden delights is easy and delicious. Here are some of her favorite recipes to make the most of this fresh season.
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BALSAMIC MARINATED FLANK STEAK w. GRILLED TOMATOES & KALE
2 lbs. flank steak
1/2 C. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbps. fresh thyme
1/2 tsp. Salt
Fresh cracked black pepper
2/3 C. + 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
2 lbs. campari or vine tomatoes
1 - 2 bunches green kale,
Crumbled goat cheese
1. Place the flank steak in a gallon size ziploc bag, set aside.
2. In a small bowl whisk together the balsamic vinegar, mustard, garlic, thyme, salt, fresh cracked black pepper and 2/3 cup olive oil, pour over steak, squeeze out all the air and seal shut; refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.
3. Preheat grill to 350 degrees.
4. Rub kale leaves with olive oil, season with salt and set aside.
5. Remove the flank steak from the marinade, discard marinade and grill 5 minutes per side or to desired taste, remove and let rest for 5-8 minutes.
6. While steak is grilling, place the kale leaves and tomatoes on the grill for a 3-5 mintues turning as necessary until slightly charred & tender, removing items when they are done.
7. Thinly slice the steak and serve along side the grilled tomatoes and kale topped with crumbled goat cheese.
*Note: To make homemade balsamic reduction, place 2 cups of balsamic vinegar in a shallow pan, bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for about 15 minutes or until it reduces by half and coats the back of a spoon like thick syrup or molassas.
LEMON BASIL CHICKEN TARTINE
1/2 C. plain Greek yogurt
1/4 C. buttermilk
3 Tbsp. fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 tsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
Pinch of salt
Fresh cracked black pepper
8 slices Sourdough bread, toasted on one side
2 C. finely shredded garden lettuce
2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 avocado, thinly sliced
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
2-3 grilled chicken breasts, thinly sliced
1. In a small bowl, mix together the yogurt, buttermilk, basil, green onion, lemon zest, lemon juice, pinch of salt and fresh cracked black pepper; cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
2. Lay Sourdough bread out on a serving platter, spread each piece of bread with some of the Lemon Basil yogurt sauce, topped with some shredded lettuce and layered with slices of tomato, avocado, cucumber and chicken.
3. Serve sandwiches with remaining Lemon Basil yogurt sauce.