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Seriously Simple: Enhance grilled steak with sun-dried tomato compound butter

Diane Rossen Worthington, Tribune Content Agency on

No matter what time of year it is, I am always up for a grilled steak. If it’s too cold outdoors, you can use a seasoned iron skillet on high heat for a successful result. For years, I used seasoned compound butters to add loads of flavor to many dishes. What is a compound butter? It is merely a mixture of butter and other ingredients.

Here, I have adapted a recipe from Discover California that enhances simple steak with a garlicky sun-dried tomato compound butter. You can make up the butter a few days ahead and freeze it until you are ready to use it. Make sure to defrost it to chilled before using.

The robust tomato-garlic notes are equally enjoyable on grilled chicken, fish, vegetables, corn on the cob, baked potatoes, and atop soft corn polenta. A simple arugula salad makes a colorful and tasty accompaniment. To drink? A full-bodied merlot or malbec would be a lovely complement to the meat.

A few tips on choosing your steak:

Grilled Steak with Sun-Dried Tomato Compound Butter

Serves 4

4 boneless steaks, rib-eye, sirloin or New York, 10 to 12 ounces each


Freshly ground black pepper

3 large garlic cloves, peeled and ends removed

1/2 cup marinated in oil sun-dried tomatoes

3 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature


1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

3/4 teaspoon salt

Extra sun-dried tomato pieces, for garnish

Fresh basil sprigs, optional for garnish

1. Season steaks all over with salt with salt and pepper. Place the steaks on a rack set over a plate or tray and refrigerate, uncovered, for 6 to 12 hours. Bring to room temperature before grilling.

2. In a small food processor mince the garlic until pureed. Add the tomatoes, butter, smoked paprika and salt and puree until smooth.

3. Scoop the butter out of the bowl into the center of a 12-inch piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap. Roll up plastic wrap, pressing the butter into a log shape. Twist the ends to close. Place in freezer for 6 hours or the refrigerator for at least 4 hours until firm. If frozen, allow it to thaw in the fridge until well-chilled.

4. Prepare a grill or a grill plate on the stove for medium-high grilling. Grill to desired doneness, about 3 to 5 minutes per side for medium rare. Transfer the steaks to a platter.

5. Unroll the wax paper and slice the butter into 3/4-inch pieces. Top each steak with a few slices. Scatter a few sun-dried tomato pieces on top and garnish with and an optional basil sprig. Serve immediately.

(Diane Rossen Worthington is an authority on new American cooking. She is the author of 18 cookbooks, including “Seriously Simple Parties,” and a James Beard Award-winning radio show host. You can contact her at

©2021 Diane Rossen Worthington. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.



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