Bistecca with Fried Artichokes and Potatoes

June 6, 2009.   2 Comments.   Categories Tuscan.  

Bistecca with Fried Artichokes and Potatoes

from A Platter of Figs by David Tanis.


I am in the middle of reading the most wonderful cookbook … A Platter of Figs and other recipes by David Tanis.  And when I say I’m “reading” a cookbook, I mean I’m actually reading it a page at a time from start to finish.  It’s wonderfully well-written with a refreshing and simplistic perspective of cooking and spending time with friends.  Although Mr. Tanis is the head chef of one of America’s premier restaurants, Chez Panisse, his recipes are not elitist or over-complicated expressions of a celebrity chef ego.  It is his belief that the very best food is prepared simply and in the comfort of your home with good friends…. not in fancy restaurants.  He is a big believer in seasonal cooking using what is most fresh and in season from local sources.  I couldn’t agree more with his philosophy.  Unlike other cookbooks, he constructs complete menus so that each course compliments the next for each season.

Even if you aren’t a “foodie” or chef, buy this book and try the recipes.  You’ll thank me if you do.  You will enjoy reading every page from cover to cover.

  • 4 pounds flank steak
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 4 pounds medium potatoes, such as Yellow Fin
  • 2 pounds baby artichokes
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves roughly chopped
  • 1/2 pound arugula, washed and dried
  • Lemon wedges

1. Season the flank steak generously with salt and coarsely ground black pepper. Drizzle with a little olive oil and massage in the seasoning.

2. Cover and refrigerate for at least several hours, or overnight. Bring to room temperature before cooking.

3. Peel the potatoes and cut them into wedges. Boil the potatoes in salted water until just done (soft when pierced with the tip of a knife). Drain the potatoes and spread them on a baking sheet to cool.

4. To prepare the baby artichokes, cut off the tops and remove a few outer leaves from each to reveal the pale green centers. Trim the stem ends with a pairing knife. Slice the artichokes lengthwise 1/4 inch thick. Put the slices in a bowl of cool water. Squeeze in the juice of the lemon.

5. Prepare a fire in a charcoal grill. While you wait for the grill to heat, pan-fry the artichokes and potatoes: Drain the artichoke slices and blot with a kitchen towel. Put a large skillet over a high flame. Add 1/2 inch of the olive oil and let it heat. Add the artichokes and stir them around in the oil for a minute or so. Add the potatoes and let them sizzle with the artichokes.

6. Turn the flame to medium, shaking the pan and stirring the vegetables, until they brown and crisp, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the garlic and let it sizzle without browning. Stir in the parsley and turn off the heat.

7. Grill the flank steak over hot coals. For a rare steak, cook about 4 minutes per side, just until juices begin to appear on the surface. Transfer to a platter and let the steak rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving.

8. Carve the flank steak in thin slices against the grain. Arrange the meat on a large warmed platter. Reheat the fried artichokes and potatoes if necessary and spoon around the steak. Garnish the platter with arugula leaves and lemon wedges.


  1. Oh yeah! We need to start a new blog “people who read cookbooks for fun”. I thought I was the only one!

  2. Atleast I’m not the only person who reads cookbooks like they’re novels :-)

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