Mediterranean Steak with Minted Couscous

Please dad this coming weekend with a sautéed steak flavored with olives, walnuts and capers. It’s a 15-minute dinner great for any weeknight or special night.

The flavors of the Mediterranean have captured the imagination of travelers for centuries. Add a glass of red wine and you can understand why it is said the wars of the area were fought over olive groves and vineyards.

Precooked, packaged couscous takes only 5 minutes to make. It’s made from semolina flour and is, in fact, a form of pasta rather than what many people think is a grain. You just boil water, remove from heat, add the couscous cover and let stand. In this case I’ve added fresh mint and chopped tomatoes to add a fresh flavor that goes well with the steak.

SHOPPING LIST: To buy: 2 small tomatoes, 1 small bunch fresh mint, 3/4 pound grass-fed strip, skirt or flank steak, 1 small package walnut pieces, 1 small jar pimento stuffed green olives, 1 small jar capers and 1 package couscous. Staples: Olive oil, olive oil spray, cayenne pepper, salt and black peppercorns.

Mediterranean Steak

  • 3/4 pound grass-fed steak (strip, flank, skirt)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Olive oil spray
  • 1 tablespoon walnut pieces
  • 8 sliced pimento stuffed green olives
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Remove fat from steak and sprinkle both sides with cayenne. Heat a small nonstick skillet on medium-high (Note: Use a skillet that just fits the steak to capture the pan juices. A larger skillet will cause the juices to boil off.) Spray with olive oil spray. Brown steak 2 minutes per side.

Sprinkle walnuts, olives and capers into skillet and over steak. Lower heat to medium and cook 2 minutes for medium rare. Cook 2 minutes longer for thick steak. Add salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, place couscous on two dinner plates, carve steak and place on top. Spoon any pan juices over steak.

Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 421 calories, 61.6 g protein, 1.3 g carbohydrate, 21.2 g fat, 8 g saturated fat, 45 percent of calories as fat, no fiber, 153 mg cholesterol, 704 mg sodium.

Minted Couscous

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup couscous
  • 2 small tomatoes, diced (1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring water to a boil. Remove from heat and add couscous and tomatoes. Cover with a lid and let stand 5 minutes. When ready, fluff up with a fork. Add mint, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 80 calories, 4 g protein, 16.5 g carbohydrate, 0.3 g fat, no saturated fat, 3 percent of calories as fat, 0.5 g fiber, no cholesterol, 11 mg sodium.

Quick Fix is a Tribune News Service column from Linda Gassenheimer. She is the author, most recently, of “The 12-Week Diabetes Cookbook,” “Delicious One-Pot Dishes” and “Quick and Easy Chicken.” Her website is dinnerinminutes.com. Follow her on Twitter @lgassenheimer. Email: linda@dinnerinminutes.com.

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