Grilled Steak with Tomatillo Salsa

Juicy sliced steak served with crispy tomatillo salsa, grilled corn and string beans.

The summer days are skittering towards Labor Day and it’s soon back to school in the Northeast. This time of year always puts a panicked rush in my step to get to the grill while the gettin’ is good. Of course, this is silly, since we dedicated New Englanders are sometimes known to grill in the snow- but you know what I mean.
It’s the long shadows of late summer sunsets, accompanied by the sound of birds and a far off hum of a lawnmower. It’s sitting on a stoop while shucking corn, it’s the smell of charcoal and smoke. Bare legs, sticky fingers, sprinklers, ice pops and bug bites on your ankles.
Of course, all of THAT is even pretty silly, since I write to you from my tiny NYC apartment with not a patch of lawn in sight- but I can conjure up a memory just as good as anyone, and the smell of corn silk is as powerful as Proust’s madeleines to me.
I do have great memories as a kid when the biggest challenge was getting sand out between my toes after the beach, or beating my brother to the last cherry Ice Pop. This summer has come as close as I’ve come in years to those care free days. I’ve spent more time traveling this summer than at home- a total of 10 weeks out of the past 14 have been without boundary, without schedule or demand- with full time enjoyment and exploration. I think that was what I loved best as a kid- exploring.
Some kids play sports and spend their summers in motion. I was more of a dreamer. I would write stories and make them into little books. I was the kid that would spend hours glueing shells that I had collected onto boxes and mirrors. My brother and I would dress up and act out plays we invented, and even as a kid- I cooked and baked.
I hope you try making this tomatillo salsa to go with your steak. It’s super quick to put together and it has a  tangy taste that sets off the fat in the meat perfectly. It’s really more of a relish than a real salsa- no real bite or kick, but rather an accent to the beef.
The summer days are fleeting- but still many delicious days ahead.
Grilled Steak with Tomatillo Salsa
serves 6
2# quality steak
1# tomatillos
.5c EVOO
.5c fresh basil, minced
.5c fresh cilantro, minced
.25c white onion, fine diced
juice of 1 plump lemon
Salt to taste
For the perfect steak- first season the meat with ground black pepper and allow to come to room temp for about 30 mins.
Next: heat your grill and get it HOT. Sear the meat for 1-3 mins on each side to get that heavenly umami flavor. Not sure about the sealing juices thing- there is debate on that- but to be sure- DO NOT press down on your meat as it cooks and DO NOT pierce it with a fork to turn it- use a spatula or tongs.
After the sear move the meat to a lower temperature area of the grill and close the lid. Allow it to slowly “bake” for another 5 minutes- longer for medium or well done.
Poke the meat for doneness. If it feels springy, it’s still on the rare side. If it yields some but still has some bounce, it’s medium range. If it is so tight it slaps you back when you poke it- you’ve reached well done.
Allow the meat to rest for a good 5 mins before slicing.
For the salsa, simply combine everything in a bowl and stir together. You can make this earlier in the day and allow it to marinate a bit. Just serve it at room temperature, not too cold or straight from the fridge.