Skirt Steak with Hazelnut Picada and Wilted Escarole

Recipe from My Favorite Ingredients by Skye Gyngell/Ten Speed Press, 2010.

Skirt Steak with Hazelnut Picada and Wilted Escarole

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    1 1/2 pounds skirt steak, cut into 4 portions Generous 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (for Picada)
    1 head escarole 20 shelled hazelnuts (for Picada)
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper Grated or finely shredded zest of 1 orange (for Picada)
    A little extra-virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon orange juice (for Picada)
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 garlic clove, peeled (for Picada)
    1 thick slice of chewy peasant style bread (for Picada) Small bunch of oregano, leaves only (for Picada)


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    • 1

      Set the steaks aside on a covered plate to bring them to room temperature.

    • 2

      For the picada, preheat the oven to 350°F. Tear the bread roughly into pieces. Heat the olive oil in a shallow pan over medium heat. When it is hot, add the bread and pan-fry until evenly golden and crisp. (Take care that the olive oil does not become too hot and begin to smoke.) Remove and drain off excess oil. Pound the bread, in batches if necessary, using a mortar and pestle, until you have coarse bread crumbs.

    • 3

      Place the nuts on a baking sheet and roast in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes until evenly golden. Tip the hot nuts into a clean dry cloth and rub to remove the skins. Mince the nuts and place in a bowl with the bread crumbs, orange zest, and juice. Mince the garlic and oregano together and add to the bowl with a pinch of salt. Stir to combine, then set aside. Turn the oven to its lowest setting.

    • 4

      Discard the outer leaves from the escarole, then tear the lettuce into large pieces. Wash well, but don’t bother to pat dry.

    • 5

      Season the steaks liberally all over. Place a heavy skillet over high heat and brush the steaks with a little olive oil. Lay the steaks in the skillet when it is hot and cook without moving for 3 minutes. Turn and cook on the other side for 3 minutes (you may need a minute or two longer if the steaks have been cut from a thicker section of the thigh). You should have a nice brown crust, while the meat inside should be rare. Remove to a plate and rest in the warm oven for 6 to 8 minutes.

    • 6

      Meanwhile, cook the escarole. Place a wide pan over medium-low heat. Add the butter and let it just melt, then add the torn leaves and seasoning. Put the lid on until the water clinging to the leaves begins to steam, then uncover and stir every few seconds so the leaves wilt uniformly. This will take 2 to 3 minutes. Now you should have a lovely glossy, pale green vegetable. Check the seasoning.

    • 7

      Place a steak on each warm serving plate and arrange the escarole alongside. Spoon over the picada and serve at once.

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