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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. i love this blog

    Omari wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  2. I actually like eggplant but the steak in the picture looks a bit rare for my taste…more Primal, I guess! :)

    Janibobani wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  3. Has anyone here heard about sprinkling eggplant slices with salt and leaving them to drain for an hour prior to cooking? I seem to recall that it’s supposed to rid them of bitter juices, but I don’t have alot of experience with eggplant.

    Pebbles wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  4. totally awsome!!!!!

    Karen wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  5. Not much of a squash person, I ought to learn.

    Ronald Pottol wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  6. Flank steaks are one of my favorites. I already have a book but I’d be more than happy to give a copy away!


    JT wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  7. Yummy! Flank steak is my favorite. Should be getting our 1/2 of an organic grass fed cow pretty soon.

    Jim wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  8. I’ve been looking for a good eggplant and zucchini recipe, I am excited to try this one. Thanks!

    Andy wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  9. mmm, this looks good, and dam did this site blow up or what?

    roman bartocci wrote on August 23rd, 2009
  10. Is wheat-free soy sauce really necessary? Doesn’t that just mean it’s more processed than traditional soy sauce?

    Vivian wrote on August 24th, 2009
    • Actually, the wheat is just a filler, to save money and spread the soy sauce out. Traditional soy sauce shouldn’t have wheat in it at all.

      LizziMac wrote on August 24th, 2009
  11. I can never seem to get those eggplants just right.

    Magnus wrote on August 24th, 2009
  12. Sorry if repeating anyone else, but I think Tamari is the “true” fermented soy sauce, so try looking in Asian / Oriental shops.

    And to stop the eggplant soaking up aaaall the oil, you can bake it first either whole or in slices to dry it out a bit. Have to admit I’m not a major eggplant fan but I’m sure no-one would notice if I “forgot” to add it…!
    Pebbles – salting is supposed to draw out bitter juices but apparently modern varieties aren’t so bitter anyway? So probably not needed. Maybe.

    NorthernMonkeyGirl wrote on August 24th, 2009
  13. I’m just getting into beef (the smell use to repulse me). I bought a brillinat cut from a farmers market, so cant wait to get into it!

    -Grok On!

    Kane wrote on August 24th, 2009
  14. Now if I could only get my children to eat eggplant…

    Shannon wrote on August 24th, 2009
  15. mmm Ratatouille. Maybe I should try mixing some Kangaroo meat with it. Red meat looks good with that combination.

    John wrote on August 24th, 2009
  16. Sounds delicious and all, but I prefer the taste of raw vegetables, cooked ones are blasphemy to me.

    GrokTheBoat wrote on August 24th, 2009
  17. looks great

    Cliff Egeland wrote on August 24th, 2009
  18. yum!

    Sarah wrote on August 24th, 2009
  19. gonna try it tonight! thanks mark.

    Justin wrote on August 24th, 2009
  20. I wonder how good this would taste without the eggplant or onion? I’m not a fan of either…it does look really good though!

    Andrew wrote on August 24th, 2009
  21. Looks & sounds great.I gotta try this one soon.

    Vic Magary - GymJunkies wrote on August 24th, 2009
  22. That meal looks fantastic! Zucchini is my favorite in any dish!

    I love this primal challenge, nothing makes me feel better than eating real foods.

    Amanda Brewes wrote on August 24th, 2009
  23. I think I know what’s for dinner tonight!

    Chris wrote on August 24th, 2009
  24. Great stuff.

    Jason wrote on August 24th, 2009
  25. A nice steak with vegetables? Sounds great to me! Keep the recipes coming. Would regular soy sauce be an appropriate substitute for tamari sauce?

    Jon G wrote on August 24th, 2009
    • Soy sauce generally contains wheat and, well, soy. Neither of those are particularly primal. On the other hand, remember the 80/20 rule, right? Just don’t go nuts with it. :-)

      gcb wrote on August 24th, 2009
  26. How about a nice fatty ribeye instead of the flank steak?

    Craig wrote on August 24th, 2009
  27. Excellent! I’m turning on the BBQ tonight with a grassfed ribeye and a radish salad. Fat left on. Yum.

    Erica wrote on August 24th, 2009
  28. Made a killer hanger steak w/ okra last night. Primal!

    BenJ wrote on August 24th, 2009
  29. Flank steak used to be really cheap, but not anymore. Anyway, I’ll have to try this recipe.

    hghumphrey wrote on August 24th, 2009
  30. This looks great. I’ve never seen tamari, wheat-free or otherwise, so I guess finding that will be my next mission.

    Kim Birch wrote on August 24th, 2009
  31. Um…Yum!

    Jess wrote on August 24th, 2009
  32. This was amazing! I’ve never made eggplant that was actually edible!

    Mike wrote on August 28th, 2009
  33. I see other people have vegies taking over their lives….

    sandra wrote on August 29th, 2009
  34. only time I ever liked eggplant was in a very small cafe in Ballard (Seattle) where the chef used very thin slices as the noodles for manicotti. Now I just make baba ganoush and dip celery, carrots, radishes. We have a CSA this summer. the farmer really likes eggplant. Guess I’ll be finding out if baba ganoush freezes well.

    Mary Anne wrote on June 2nd, 2010
  35. The directions for this dish call for tomatoes to be added along with the bay leaf, peppers and garlic. No tomatoes are mentioned in the ingredients list however. I’m wondering what type and amount of tomatoes to use? Also, are any liquids added at the same time, so there is something for the veggie mix to simmer in? I’m wondering if it’s perhaps a can of diced tomatoes in water?

    Andy wrote on January 28th, 2015

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