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23 Aug

Aromatic Vegetables with Savory Flank Steak

Zucchini, eggplant, onions and bell peppers are in the summer spotlight at the farmers’ market. With so many of these vegetables available, we are always looking for new ways to use them.

The following recipe adapts the traditional ratatouille, and instead of tomatoes includes a delicious marinated flank steak. It’s a pleasant shift from the usual salad or plate of steamed broccoli to go with your dinnertime filet of salmon or other meat. The zucchini and eggplant comes out of the skillet slightly wilted but chunky, its flavors and herbs full of the marinade and juices from the beef.

To make this simple Primal recipe you’ll need:


6-12 oz. organic farm-raised flank steak, sliced as desired (I cut it into 2-inch bite-sized pieces)
1 tablespoon wheat-free tamari sauce
½ teaspoon cumin
Extra virgin olive oil
1 large fresh eggplant, cut across into ¾ inch slices
Fresh zucchini, ends trimmed, cut into half moons
½ white onion, thinly sliced
1 large purple bell pepper
1 large red bell pepper
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
Fresh rosemary


Preheat oven to about 400 F. Spray a baking sheet with oil.

In a small bowl, mix cumin with wheat-free tamari. Slice steak into 1-2 inch cubes and toss into bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside about 30 minutes.

Brush each side of the eggplant slices with olive oil and place them on the baking sheet. Bake each side of the eggplant for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Keep separate.

While eggplant bakes, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat in a skillet or Dutch oven. Add onion and thyme leaves, cooking for about 3 minutes, or until onion is shiny and no longer firm. Add zucchini and cook until fork pushes through easily, about 10 minutes. Lower heat and add bay leaf, tomatoes, peppers and garlic, giving it all a nice stir. Cover and simmer, about 10 minutes.

Slice the eggplant pieces in half. Lightly sprinkle with salt and add to the skillet vegetable mixture, cooking for an additional 20 minutes, allowing all flavors to blend.

Near the end of the 20 minutes, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium heat in a small skillet. Add steak and cook until just brown but still pink in the middle. Transfer steak in with the vegetables, turning the heat up again to medium.

Cook covered for 4-5 minutes maximum, until steak is cooked through. Serve warm with a glass of good red wine.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. The vegetable looks fabulous, a sort of ratatouille. I might have all the ingredients on hand to make it at home soon.

    maba wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  2. i’ve seen tamari in many recipes lately but i have never come across it in stores. i guess the hunt is on.

    onelasttime wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  3. Zucchini is one of my favorites – I use it in omlettes all the time.

    Robert Gioia wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  4. I’ll try this this week.

    Chris wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  5. What exactly is tamari??

    Alex wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  6. Oh, man–makes me want to eat my veggies! And flank steak is a favorite of mine. Thanks for another great recipe!

    Catalina wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  7. Love the flank steak!

    Mark wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  8. i love eggplant :)

    Kathy wrote on August 23rd, 2009
    • Eggplant creeps me out. The fact that it’s a nightshade adds to its scary effect. *shudders*

      Alyie wrote on August 23rd, 2009
      • Yeah…I’m not real crazy about the eggplant either. But leave the eggplant out, and it looks GREAT!

        Charlie Pharis wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  9. I love everything but the eggplant. It soaks up oil like a sponge, and my version of paleo/Zone a la CrossFit excludes olive oil – it goes rancid so easily, and the high-quality bottles are expensive, especially when it is just my husband and me. I do not think Grok had olive oil in his cave shelf.

    Clare Nelson wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  10. Wonderful.. Now I know what I’m gonna do with all those eggplants..

    Bianca wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  11. Thanks for this receipe! Kind of a one-dish meal and looks easy to prepare.

    Alicia wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  12. I have the book already, but I will give my copy to my sister if I win! So many recipes, so little time :)

    lbd wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  13. Haha, I have to admit I never know what zucchini really was until I just looked for the Portuguese translation, which is the language spoken here at home… anyways, sounds good! Especially that steak… ummm!

    Raphael S. wrote on August 23rd, 2009
    • Yum! I love ratatouille.

      Ursula wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  14. Looks delicious. I was mulling what to cook for dinner tonight so I naturally logged on to MDA. Problem solved! Will try this later this evening. Might try grilling the meat and veggies kabob-style though. Awesome recipe!

    KTF wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  15. Don’t forget with flank steak to slice thinly across the grain of the meat. This will make the meat less tough when chewing!

    Hope I get the book, as a poor graduate student in physiology I just can’t afford it! My primal lifestyle has come solely from this website!

    Chad wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  16. Those are all my favorite veggies, but I am trying to avoid all nightshades to see if it helps with my arthritis.

    I can just taste how delicious it is! :)

    Helen wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  17. This basically looks very very tasty…

    Nico wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  18. Never thought of the eggplant…but it makes sense :)

    gfly wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  19. This looks delicious! I can’t wait to try it.

    Lisa wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  20. I’m certainly gonna try this way. I love ratatouille.
    There are really a lot of delicious recipes on this site. Yum!

    Bjerregaard wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  21. wish i could get local grass fed beef. looks delicious.

    Richard Coffey wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  22. Oh wow… this looks really good!

    Grok wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  23. My god, that meat looks tasty. The veggies, too, but the steak is a makin’ me drool.

    Adam Kayce wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  24. Looks good, but how about a recipe to do this on a grill? Nothing says Primal like open flame. Don’t slice the steak, but marinade per recipe above. Don’t slice peppers. Slice eggplant, zukes and onion into rounds and lube with oil. Build the fire (or light the gas) and char the peppers over high heat. (Personally I’d roast some jalapenos or serranos to throw in too, but that’s just me.) Place in a paper bag to steam about 10 minutes and then remove skins and slice into strips. Sear steak all around. Lower fire (bank coals or turn down gas) and grill veg (grill basket might help here) and steak until done (I’m being deliberately vague here). Remove steak from heat and allow to rest 15 minutes or so. While steak rests, mix oil, garlic, thyme and minced rosemary and let sit. Slice steak and toss with veg and oil dressing in a large bowl (onion should separate into rings).

    Less clean up, doesn’t heat up the house, gets you outside in the sunlight, and, yeah, it’s got that primal flame!

    Geoff wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  25. This sounds great! Flank steak has long been one of our favorite cuts of meat. I just started learning about Primal living a few days ago, so I’ll be looking for recipes like this one — similar to what we would have cooked before Primal — to ease us into the transition. Thank you!!

    Wendy1 wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  26. Flank steak is one of the cheapest cuts out there and very easy to prepare

    ohiolopez wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  27. I just found a local farmers market with all of the ingredients for the recipe. Can’t wait to try it.

    Also love the idea of a Primal cook book.

    Joey wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  28. Everyday there is something great on here! I love it!

    MarthaB wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  29. Good one. I’ve been looking for nightshade free ways to get my veggies. I’d just drop the peppers etc and put in some summer squash.

    Mike K wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  30. I have everything but the eggplant…

    MK Stover wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  31. Looks delicious!

    amandamarie wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  32. This looks wonderful! I have everything on hand except for the veggies, so I will go buy some at the organics store and try this out.

    Hannah wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  33. Yum! We can’t do soy though, so I’m always on the lookout for a soy sauce replacement. I’ve heard basalmic vinegar & salt can sometimes work…

    nessa wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  34. @Geoff – As long as it’s hot out, we’re trying to keep the heat outside by not turning on the oven. Air conditioning is not only unPrimal, but expensive… So thanks for the open flame adaptation!

    Don V wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  35. another great recipe…

    I can’t believe how many people think eating whole foods is boring…

    fresh veggies and flank steak VS hamburger helper… decisions, decisions… NOT

    Marti wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  36. help! my zucchini are taking over my garden! my kitchen! my life!!! ahhhhh!!

    gkh wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  37. I’m gonna try this too! Great way to use all the zucchini and summer squash I have right now. Skipping the eggplant though. Yuck…never could acquire the taste.

    JB wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  38. I’m a Big fan of Flank (med. rare) accompanied by a glass of Ravenswood Red Zin!!

    Nicola M wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  39. I’ve heard that the Liquid Aminos from Bragg are a good soy sauce sub. I bought some but haven’t tried it yet so I can’t offer a review.

    JB wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  40. Looks great! The steak’s a bit overcooked for my taste, but to each his own 😉 I can see pork loin being a good sub here, as well.

    Sarah wrote on August 23rd, 2009

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