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Dinner in Minutes: Pesto pairs with steak

A mushroom pesto sauce goes perfectly with a pan-roasted steak, and the meal won’t break your calorie bank.

Pesto sauce made with fresh basil, parsley, olive oil and Parmesan cheese originated in Genoa, Italy. Adding mushrooms to prepared pesto gives it an earthy flavor.

Mushroom Pesto Steak

Olive oil spray

3/4 pound beef tenderloin (or other quick-cooking steak such as flank, skirt or strip)

1/4 pound sliced portobello mushrooms (about 1 2/3 cups)

2 tablespoons prepared pesto sauce

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Several sprigs watercress (optional)

Cut tenderloin into 2-inch slices. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Spray with olive oil.

Saute mushrooms 1 minute; turn and saute 1 minute more. Transfer to a food processor, add pesto and 1/4 cup water, and blend until smooth. Set aside.

Add the steak to the same skillet. Sear over high heat for 2 minutes; turn and sear 2 more minutes. Reduce heat to medium and cook 4 to 5 minutes for medium rare (145 degrees on an instant-read thermometer), 6 to 7 minutes for medium (160 degrees.) Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Divide steak between dinner plates, spoon sauce on top and garnish with watercress.

Yield: 2 servings.

Nutrition per serving: 346 calories (46 percent from fat), 17.8 grams fat (5.6 grams saturated, 9.3 grams monounsaturated), 119 milligrams cholesterol, 41.2 grams protein, 4.2 grams carbohydrates, 1.1 grams fiber, 239 milligrams sodium.

Linda Gassenheimer is the author of 14 cookbooks. Visit her Web page at

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