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BEEF TENDERLOIN AND FLORENTINE ARUGULA

Jekka's Herb Cookbook
by Jekka McVicar

Hannah, my daughter, and I went on holiday to Florence where we ate some beautiful meals. This was one of them, so simple and so nourishing, so flavorsome and so attractive. Again, it is the peppery flavor of the arugula that is essential to this dish.
Serves 4


INGREDIENTS

    • 14-oz (400 g) beef tenderloin, left in one piece and trimmed
    • 1/2 tbsp (7 ml) olive oil
    • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 tbsp (15 ml) balsamic vinegar
    • 1/3 cup (75 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
    • 2 oz (60 g) Parmesan
    • 3½ oz (100 g) rocket salad or wild arugula, washed and roughly chopped


DIRECTIONS

Preheat a ridged grill pan, broiler or barbecue.

Rub the beef with the 1/2 tbsp (7 ml) olive oil, season it, then cook on the heated grill or under the broiler for about 4 to 5 minutes for rare, turning it every so often so that it cooks evenly. If you prefer your meat medium or well done, cook for a further 3 to 5 minutes, depending on your taste and the thickness of the beef. Once cooked, place on a plate to cool. If there are any juices in the grill pan or broiler, keep them for later.

Make the dressing by whisking together the balsamic vinegar and 1/3 cup (75 ml) olive oil with any juices from the beef. Season with salt and pepper to taste. With a potato peeler, shave slices of Parmesan as thinly as possible onto a plate. Slice the beef into 1/4 - 1/2 inch (0.5-1 cm) slices, dress the arugula leaves and arrange on a large plate or individual serving plates, and arrange the slices of beef on top. Scatter the Parmesan shavings on top and eat immediately.
 

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