Food, Meat, Recipes, Sauces

Flat Iron Steak with Tarragon-Cashew Pesto

Even though many people refer to Pesto as a paste/sauce made primarily from basil leaves and pine nuts, the term “pesto” can actually be used to describe any other similar types of paste. I like to experiment with different herbs and nuts in such pestos (as you can see in THIS post or THIS one).
This time, I’ve chosen tarragon leaves and cashews as the main ingredients for the tasty paste. Tarragon is a wonderful herb, which is used extensively in classical French cuisine, as well as in the Caucasus region countries. Its’ wonderful aroma and mild anise flavor mix well with the creamy texture and sweetish flavor of the cashews. With the addition of garlic, Parmesan cheese and olive oil, it turns into a unique, highly aromatic and tasty pesto, that can be used in versatile ways.
One of the tastiest and simple ways to use it , is to pair it with grilled meat. Here I’ve paired it with Flat Iron steak, which is a highly flavorful cut, that requires very short roasting time. So, once you have the pesto ready, it takes only minutes to prepare this tasty and impressive dish. Try it and enjoy.

* Since this pesto can be used in various ways, from sandwiches to pasta, soups and more, it’s worth it to prepare a fairly large amount of it. It can keep, in an airtight container in the fridge, for up to ten days. It can also be frozen for up to a month, though it will not be as bright green as when freshly made.
* Flat Iron steak is at its best when cooked to medium-rare degree, so do your best not to overcook it. Make sure it is at room temperature before roasting.

Tarragon-Cashew Pesto
Makes: 2 cups
Prep time: 20 minutes

1½ cups roasted unsalted cashews
2 cloves garlic
½ cup coarsely chopped Parmesan cheese
2 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly grated 4 pepper mix
3 cups tarragon leaves, washed and dried
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil

1. In a large food processor bowl, fitted with the metal blade, place the cashews, garlic, cheese, salt and pepper. Process briefly and add the tarragon leaves. Process briefly again, scraping the sides of the bowl once, and add the oil. Process again, scraping the sides a few times, to the consistency you prefer. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
2. Transfer to an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to ten days. (It can also be frozen for up to a month, though it will not be as bright green as when freshly made.) Bring to room temperature before using.

Grill Pan Roasted Flat Iron Steak
Makes: 2-4
Prep time: 5 minutes
Roasting time: 6-8 minutes

0.9 lbs (400 grams) Flat Iron steak, at room temperature
1 Tbs light olive oil
1 tsp coarse salt (preferably Alaea Hawaiian red sea salt)
½ tsp freshly ground 4 pepper mix
For serving:
½ cup Tarragon-Cashews Pesto
Cherry tomatoes, halved

1. Cut the steak into two equal pieces. Rub with the oil, salt and pepper. Preheat a grill pan over high heat. Lower the heat to medium-high and add the steaks. Roast for 3-4 minutes on one side, then flip to the other side. Roast for 3-4 minutes longer, depending on the thickness of the cut and your preferences.
2. Let the steaks rest in a warm place for 3-4 minutes before cutting.

3. Transfer to a cutting board and cut with a sharp, heavy knife. Place on a serving plate, add the pesto and cherry tomatoes and serve immediately.

62 thoughts on “Flat Iron Steak with Tarragon-Cashew Pesto”

  1. Okay – you win! ;-> I’ll give it another try. I got a flat iron steak about two years ago, but my heavy-handed bungling apparently was totally incorrect. I don’t remember details now, but it was a bust. The pictures I have seen make it look so delicious. I think starting from room temperature with meat is the key here.

    I have a heavy, cast iron square pan with ribs on the bottom that might do well in this instance. What do you think? It has a heavy presser thingy (also cast iron!) to hold down the food being cooked. I’m not clear if that would be a help (cooks faster) or a hindrance (squeezes out all of the juices).

    We don’t eat a lot of meat, and I seldom buy steaks because they are inordinately expensive, and just not that good here, but a flat iron steak seems to be mostly meat, and not so much fat and bone as with other types of steaks.

    I’m willing to follow your instructions, and give it another go.

    Virtual hugs,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Judi, glad you liked the recipe enough to want to try preparing this cut again!
      Though not cheap, I love this cut, as it is indeed 100% meat and it’s a great choice when craving red meat. Room temperature is indeed the key in preparing any cuts that need a short cooking time. Also a well heated pan when adding the meat is crucial.
      I didn’t use the presser this time, but if it’s well heated before I see no reason not to use it. Hope you’ll enjoy it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m guilty of using my one tried and true traditional pesto all the time. Cashews and tarragon leaves how delightful in your pesto. I don’t have my big tarragon plant any more – I will have to consider growing it again. Perfect with steak – that’s one way I have not served it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Judi, I’m glad you liked my version. I do love the classic version, but also like to experiment with other flavors. This pesto is one of my favorites and I make it often. It goes so well with grilled meats. I highly recommend trying. 🙂


  3. Love this post, Ronit! I adore pesto and am very excited to try this combination. Tarragon is one of my favourite herbs and paired with cashew nuts – so interesting. Looks and sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing such a fab recipe.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This looks amazing and seems easy enough for my tiny kitchen.. Once I’m hooked on the pesto, I’ll probably try it on other meats as well, and on sandwiches, crackers…… 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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