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We are friends who love making simple food look beautiful. We hope our recipes will inspire you to get into the kitchen this season. Aoife McElwain works in front of the camera writing the recipes and styling the food, while Mark Duggan works behind the camera to make sure it all looks as delicious as possible. We work with editors such as Killian Broderick and music supervisors like Nialler9 to make sure that our finished videos look and sound as smart as possible. We work with brands like Glenisk and Folláin to help them create delicious video content for their online platforms. When we're not making videos, we write a weekly column called Speedy Suppers on Thursdays in The Irish Independent. Aoife writes the recipes and styles the food while Mark takes the photographs.  

Steak + Tomato Salad

Isn’t it great drying weather out there? This summery streak we’re having also means it’s great grilling weather out there. In this week’s speedy supper we’re putting forward the idea of a grilled (or fried) steak served with a zesty tomato salad.

Steak can often be associated with heavier accompaniments, more suitable to winter climes. Creamy mashed potatoes and rich red wine sauces. But you can lighten up a steak and dress it for summer by serving it up with a light salad and a dollop of delicious green pesto.

If you have the barbecue blazing, by all means throw your steak over the heat. Otherwise, heat some vegetable or sunflower oil in a frying pan over a high heat. Olive oil tends to get smokey so it’s better to use the other oils, as they can withstand higher temperatures. I like my steak medium rare, nicely pink but not bloody. My method for achieving that is throwing a seasoned piece of steak into the hot pan and frying on each side for 4 minutes. Then I take the pan off the heat and let the steak sit in the hot pan as it cools for another ten minutes. This lets the steak rest while continuing to cook it.

As for the tomato salad, we’re reaching that time of year when we should be able to spot Irish tomatoes in the shops. I’ve used little cherry tomatoes here which have the sweet flavour we’re looking for to accompany the steak. I’ve used shop bought pesto here to speed things up but you can make your own by blitzing some basil, parmesan and pinenuts together. I’ve thrown in a few baby potatoes to bulk up that salad. Serve your steak and tomato salad some crusty bread on the side for an additional carb fix, a necessity for me!

Steak and Tomato Salad

Serves 2

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes


1 large steak



Vegetable oil

6 baby potatoes

Large handful of cherry tomatoes (about 12)

Quarter of a red onion

3 tablespoons of olive oil

1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar

Squeeze of lemon juice

Parmesan Cheese (optional)

Tub of green pesto

Crusty bread, to serve


1. Brush your piece of steak with oil and season it generously with salt and pepper.

2. Fry your steak to your liking. For me, that means heating a drizzle of oil in a frying pan over a high heat, then frying the steak for 4 minutes on each side before taking the pan off the heat and allowing the steak to rest in the pan as it cools for 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, slice your baby potatoes in half. Boil them in a saucepan of simmering water for about 10 minutes or until tender. Drain and allow to cool.

4. Make your tomato salad by halving the cherry tomatoes and placing in a large serving bowl. Peel and very finely slice the red onion. Add to the bowl. Add the baby potatoes to the bowl.

5. Make your dressing in a separate bowl. Mix together the olive oil, red wine vinegar and lemon juice. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.

6. Pour about half the dressing into the bowl with the tomatoes and onions. Mix well and season with salt and pepper. Add a handful of finely grated Parmesan to the salad if you’re feeling cheesy. You can add a handful of freshly chopped herbs like basil or mint to the salad.

7. Slice the steak into pieces and top with a generous dollop of green pesto. Serve with the tomato salad and a bit of crusty bread on the side.

Storecupboard Essential: Pesto

Making your own pesto is a very straightforward affair. Take some fresh herbs, pair with Parmesan cheese and pinenuts, almonds or walnuts, blitz with good quality oil and hey presto, you’ve got your own pesto. Having a tub of shop-bought pesto in the fridge is essential for sprucing up dull dinners. The Happy Pear’s pesto range is delicious and is widely available nationwide.

This recipe first appeared in The Irish Independent on May 18th 2017

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