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Smoky salt-cured ribeye with fire-roasted tomatoes and arugula pesto

Recipe by:Chef Teresa Urkofsky
American River College, Sacramento


  • 4 boneless ribeye steaks
    4 tsp. smoked sea salt
    4 ripe tomatoes, halved
    Kosher salt and coarse-ground black pepper, to taste
    8 sprigs lemon thyme
    1 large bunch arugula or arugula in a bag (3 to 4 oz.), divided
    1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
    2 large garlic cloves
    1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
    1/2 tsp. red chili flakes
    1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    1/4 cup canola, vegetable or other neutral-flavored oil
    1 lemon, cut into 4 wedges


Twenty-four hours in advance, sprinkle steaks on both sides with smoked salt. Place on a cooling rack set over a half sheet pan in the refrigerator. Flip meat upside down about 8 to 12 hours into the curing process.

On the day of cooking, heat a grill to medium-low. Cut tomatoes in half crosswise (equator). Remove most of the seeds and season the inside with salt and pepper. Snip thyme sprigs in half and rub around in the cut side of the tomatoes. Let rest, cut side up.

Remove meat from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature while you prepare pesto. Combine all but a large handful of arugula in a food processor with cheese, garlic, vinegar, chili flakes and both oils. Season to taste with salt.

Pat steaks dry. (This is important to develop a good crust.) Sprinkle with pepper and grill on both sides to desired temperature. Set steaks aside to rest. Grill tomatoes on both sides. Remove skins.

Place a few leaves of arugula on each of 4 plates. Rest steak against arugula leaves. Arrange 2 pieces of roasted tomato on each steak. Squeeze lemon over steak and tomatoes. Spoon plenty of arugula pesto on each.

Serves 4

Photo: © 2017 Matt Salvo

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