Skip to main content

#ItalianFWT: Roasted Flank Steak with Zucchini-Mint Pesto with an Umbrian Merlot

This month the Italian Food, Wine & Travel - #ItalianFWT - blogging group is traveling to their twelfth region of Italy: Umbria. I'm joining for the just the third time and was thrilled to be heading to Umbria by goblet since I never made it there in real life.

Umbria is bordered by Tuscany to the west, Marche to the east and Lazio to the south. Partly hilly and partly flat, and fertile owing to the valley of the Tiber, its topography includes part of the central Apennines. Completely landlocked, it is the only Italian region having neither a coastline nor a common border with other countries.

Poet Giosuè Carducci writes about Umbria, il cuore verde d'Italia, 'the green heart of Italy.'

Oscure intanto fumano le nubi
su l'Apennino: grande, austera, verde
da le montagne digradanti in cerchio
l'Umbria guarda. 

Follow along the Umbria journey with my other Umbrian fans; you can also chat with us live this Saturday morning at 11am EST on Twitter at #ItalianFWT.  Hope to see you there!

From the #ItalianFWT Group...

In My Glass...
I chose a merlot from Umbria. Falesco hand-harvests its grapes from the hills around Orvieto, ferments in stainless steel, ages in barrels for seven months, then bottles - without filtration. In the glass, the merlot was a deep garnet in color with an exotic blend of aromas. Blackberry, tobacco and vanilla play on the palate to a lingering finish.

Full-bodied and velvety, I thought this would pair beautifully with some pesto-covered beef. And, I was correct. Next time, I think I'll try a lamb dish with mint chutney.

On My Plate...
I was inspired to make Roasted Flank Steak with Zucchini-Mint Pesto. To fully embrace the Autumn season, I topped all of it with crisped shiitake mushrooms and softened fennel.

Roasted Flank Steak with Zucchini-Mint Pesto

  • 1 flank steak, between 2 and 3 pounds) 
  • 1 T organic brown sugar 
  • 1 T paprika 
  • 1 t freshly ground salt
  • 1/2 t freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 t ground cumin 
  • 1/2 t ground coriander 
  • 1 T crushed mint leaves
  • olive oil
Zucchini-Mint Pesto
  • 2 C fresh zucchini, cut into 2" pieces
  • 1 C fresh mint
  • 2 T fresh oregano
  • 2 T fresh parsley
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • olive oil
  • optional: freshly ground salt and freshly ground pepper
To Serve
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 C shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place the flank steak on a parchment-lined baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, paprika, salt, cumin, coriander and mint. Sprinkle the spices over the flank steak and rub it in. Drizzle with olive oil. Then roast in the preheated oven for between 25 and 40 minutes, depending on desired level of doneness.

Remove from oven and let rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving. While the flank steak roasts and rest, prepare your sauce.

Zucchini-Mint Pesto
Put all ingredients in blender and pulse to a thick paste. If it's too thick, add more olive oil. If it's too runny, add more zucchini. Remove from blender and set aside until ready to serve. 

To Serve...
Soften the fennel in a splash or olive oil. Crisp the mushrooms and set aside. Here's how to crisp mushrooms. Place thin slices of flank steak on a plate. Spoon zucchini-mint peso over the top. Then lay softened fennel and crisp mushrooms on top of the pesto. Serve immediately.


  1. Looks delicious, I love alternative pesto's!

  2. Wow! That's steak looks awesome! Very creative recipe. I love the ingredients.👍

  3. It does look delicious and the wine sounds great. Thanks!

  4. Zucchini mint pesto, sounds creative and wonderful

  5. Since #MerlotMe is right around the corner, I wonder how the Italian Merlot compares to New World Merlots. That aside, it sounds like a wonderful wine and pairing!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Jamaican Stew Peas #EattheWorld

  Here we are at November #EattheWorld event. What a year this has been! This challenge has been one that gave us some excuse for virtual travel as we've been sheltered-in-place with the coronavirus epidemic for most of 2020. So, we've been able to read about different parts of the world and create a dinner, or at least a dish, with that cuisine. This Eat the World project is spearheaded by Evelyne of  CulturEatz . Read more about  her challenge . This month, Evelyne had us heading to somewhere tropical: Jamaica. I have actually been to Jamaica, but it was almost thirty years ago...and it was just a jumping off point for the rest of our Caribbean exploration. I don't remember eating anything at all! Pandemonium Noshery: Pumpkin Rice   Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Jamaican Stew Peas  Amy’s Cooking Adventures: Jamaican Chicken & Pumpkin Soup   Palatable Pastime: Jamaican Jerk Chicken Burger   Sneha’s Recipe: Jamaican Saucy Jerk Chicken Wings With Homemade Jerk Seas

Lamskoteletten op zijn oud-Hollands for #TheBookClubCookbookCC

Here we are at April's #thebookclubcookbookCC event. It's hard to believe that we only have three more months in this year-long journey to explore - and cook from -  The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors  by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp.* Judy, Vicki, and their publisher,  Tarcher-Penguin ,  have provided the hosting bloggers with copies of the book plus copies to giveaway each month of the project. Woohoo. Incredibly generous. This month Sarah at  Things I Make (for Dinner)  has selected  Girl With a Pearl Earring  by Tracy Chevalier.** Click to read  Sarah's invitation . She shared the recipe for Griet's Vegetable Soup, but invited us to find inspiration in any of the pages. On the Page... While the boys were playing around the lake during our week in Tahoe earlier in the month, I stayed by the fire and finished this book in one sitting. Loved it. photo by R

Pistachio Dukkah for #HandCraftedEdibles

In an effort to make all of my holiday gifts this year, we are sharing recipes for hand-crafted edibles. Over the course of twelve weeks, we'll be sharing recipes that you can make at home to give to friends and loved ones, or things to serve at holiday parties. We hope you'll follow along for inspiration. You can find out more information, including the schedule:  here . This week, we are "going nuts" and sharing all sorts of recipes with nuts. Think spiced nuts or nutty fruit cake or whatever floats your nutty boat! Here's what we're posting this week... Amy's Cooking Adventures  shared her Salted Chocolate Cashew Butter Cookaholic Wife  cooked up Slow Cooker Cinnamon Almonds Making Miracles  made Honey Roasted Almonds Christmas Tree Lane  posted Crockpot Spiced Nuts A Day in the Life on the Farm  wrote about the Easiest Nut Brittle in the World Sew You Think You Can Cook  prepared Orange Rosemary Roasted Almonds Culinary Adventur