Filets Mignons with Pesto and Grilled Tomatoes
For the basil pesto:
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
- 3 Tbs. pine nuts, lightly toasted
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 6 filets mignons, each 5 to 6 oz. and about
1 1/2 inches thick
- 6 toothpicks, soaked in water for 10 minutes and
- 6 slices beefsteak tomato, each about 1/2 inch
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for direct grilling over medium-high heat. Oil the grill rack.
Using a small, sharp knife, make a horizontal cut into one side of each steak, forming a pocket almost to the edges of the steak; take care not to cut all the way through. Using a small spoon, stuff 1 Tbs. of the pesto into each pocket. If necessary, secure the pocket with toothpicks. Brush both sides of the steaks and tomato slices with the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
Grill the steaks over the hottest part of a charcoal fire or directly over the heat elements of a gas grill, turning once, until nicely charred and cooked to your liking, 5 to 6 minutes per side for medium-rare.
While the steaks are cooking, place the tomatoes at the edges of a charcoal grill where the heat is less intense, or on an area of a gas grill with lower heat. Grill the tomato slices, turning once with a spatula, until just softened and lightly charred, 2 to 4 minutes per side.
Transfer the steaks to individual plates, placing each steak on or next to a tomato slice. Serve immediately. Serves 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Essentials of Grilling, by Denis Kelly, Melanie Barnard, Barbara Grunes & Michael McLaughlin (Oxmoor House, 2003).