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Heat up your next cookout with Spicy Grilled Steak Caponata! Classic eggplant caponata + hot peppers & salsa verde + perfectly grilled steak & crumbly cheese = a recipe for late summer salad perfection!
What do you get when you mix Italian and Mexican cuisines?
A whooooole lot of unexpected flavor.
Summer cookouts are drawing to a close. Grill covers are coming out and slow cookers are taking up their seasonal places in our kitchens. Personally, I welcome the change with open arms, but don’t put up your grills just yet – I’ve got a delicious dinner you HAVE to try first!
Outdoor entertaining in Florida is one of those things that’s really hit or miss. Sometimes it’s really enjoyable with perfect weather and sea breeze, and sometimes is just downright miserable when you can’t escape the humidity and the mosquitoes.
The latter is more common, unfortunately, but we do have some nice fall and spring months where we can get in some good outdoorsy time.
Of course, I’m a little biased. You all know how I feel about the weather down here.
Some people love it, and would rather it be hot and humid all year round. My friend Lara loves the summer more than anyone else I know, and will willingly bake in the sun on the beach for 6 or 8 hours and sweat her butt off just for a little color.
That’s just not my bag. That’s the western European in me not doing well in the burning sun.
That being said, my favorite sort of outdoor celebrations absolutely include the grill…just preferably one located in plenty of shade. There’s something so earthy and primal about enjoying food cooked over a fire as opposed to over a stove.
In my mind, one of the best things to cook on the grill is definitely a big juicy steak.
I used to eat steak as a kid every once in a while, but as an adult, it’s on my menu at least once a week, almost every week. I still can’t decide if I prefer charcoal over gas or vice versa – I go back-and-forth depending on what we have as far as a grill situation.
Right now, we’re spoiled and have a dual grill, so I get to take my pick.
We play with a lot of different marinades in our house, and for this meal, we had a jar of HERDEZ® Salsa Verde just aching to be used. (There are always chips and salsa in the house for last-minute snack purposes when our friends stop by.)
We also had a handful of farmers market veggies that needed to be used ASAP. Putting on my Chopped thinking cap, I ended up with an unusual version of caponata, the Sicilian eggplant-based relish, that ended up looking more like a big, fat, chunky veggie salad with grill marks.
Even with the colorful blend of deliciousness going on in the bowl, I felt like the caponata still needed something.
I already tossed some of the fresh & delicious salsa verde in with the steak marinade, so rounding out the flavors by tossing more of it with the eggplant was the something I was looking for. It helped bring out those authentic flavors HERDEZ® brand is known for and enhanced the Mex-talian hybrid I didn’t even know I was creating.
Well, that and the cheese. Everything is better with cheese.
The beautiful this about this grilled steak caponata is that it’s OK to be made ahead of time – and it should be! Eggplant is like a food sponge, and it soaks up more and more flavor over time, so prepping it a day or two beforehand results in such a delish dish. It’s great served cold or hot, also, so no need to heat it if you’re outside manning the steaks on the grill.
- 1 1 1/2-pound steak (recommended: ribeye, sirloin)
- 1 cup salsa verde
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- 1 poblano pepper, chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper, diced with some seeds
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- 1/2 cup salsa verde
- Kosher salt
- Ground black pepper
- Red pepper flakes
- 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon capers
- 2 Tablespoons golden raisins
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
- Cotija cheese or queso fresco crumbles
- Place steak, salsa, lime juice, garlic, and cumin in a large ziploc bag. Allow to marinate in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours.
- Heat 1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and zucchini and saute about 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened. Stir in peppers and garlic; saute for 4 more minutes until fragrant. Add tomato and salsa and stir to combine, cooking 1-2 more minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Heat remaining olive oil in skillet set over medium-high. Add eggplant and cook 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently, so all sides get an even sear. Reduce heat to medium and cook an additional 2-3 minutes before adding the other vegetables back in to the skillet.
- Season vegetables with salt, black and red pepper to taste, and add red wine vinegar, capers, raisins, and cilantro. Stir together to combine, then remove from heat.
- Brush grill grate with olive oil, then heat on high flame. Remove steak from marinade and grill 2-3 minutes per side until internal temperature reaches 130 degrees F (or to desire doneness.) Remove to plate and rest for 4-5 minutes, then slice thinly.
- Arrange caponata on plates, then lay steak slices on top. Sprinkle with cotija cheese and chopped cilantro. Serve with your favorite beverage and enjoy!
Get recipe inspiration and beef nutrition information at “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner”