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Chantelle Nicholson’s Steak & Charred Baby Gem Lettuce with green chilli sauce

Welcome to City Harvest Cooking

City Harvest Cooking is a series where guest chefs and cooks join City Harvest in its London food rescue warehouse to create amazing dishes from surplus food. It’s all about being resourceful and getting creative with whatever might be in City Harvest’s food redistribution depot on the day of cooking. The beauty of food redistribution is its unpredictability, although having a network of fresh produce suppliers means that we often see seasonal goods come through our depot doors.

The second chef in our first series of City Harvest Cooking is chef-owner of Apricity, Chantelle Nicholson. Nicholson is a member of City Harvest’s Food Council, a collective that works with City Harvest to achieve its overall aims – Rescuing Food, People and the Planet – through thought leadership, engaging with decision-makers and more.

In Chantelle’s last City Harvest Cooking episode, she’s inspired by the flavours of Argentina with a chimichurri-esque salsa using surplus mint and watercress from City Harvest’s food rescue warehouse, replacing the more typical herbs of coriander and parsley. Chef Chantelle also found a favourite cut of steak – Bavette – in the charity’s chiller and made the most of a glut of baby gem lettuce. Recreate her delicious dish at home using the recipe below.

Ingredients  (serves 2)

Prep time: 10 mins, cooking time: 20 mins, total 30 mins

2 Bavette steaks 
2 baby gem lettuce, quartered into wedges 
2 spring onions
1 green chilli
2 handfuls of watercress 
1 small handful of mint 
1 handful spinach 
Glug of mild olive oil 
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp salt 
  1. In a large frying pan or griddle, heat a tsp neutral oil.
  2. Season the steaks with salt.
  3. Once the pan is smoking, add the steaks.
  4. Prepare the dressing by adding chilli, spring onion, spinach, watercress, mint, salt, oil and white wine vinegar to a food processor and blend until it’s a puréed/ sauce like texture. 
  5. Once the steaks are cooked to your taste. Turn the heat off and allow them to rest in the pan before removing them off the heat to rest altogether for about 10 minutes.
  6. Turn the heat back on. Quarter the baby gem wedges and place them face down in the pan with the residual cooking fat from the steak. 
  7. Sauté the wedges until they are charred at the edges. 
  8. Remove the baby gem from the plan and plate up with sliced steak and dress generously with the green chilli sauce. 

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