Whacka Steak

What if you could go grocery shopping without a mile-long list? Because you have plenty of other things you’d rather do then spend lots of time cooking, or food shopping, this fresh, summery Pounded Flank Steak with Zucchini Salsa comes together in a snap. Channel your inner action hero because a little meat-mallet whacking transforms this tough cut of beef into a quick-grilling all-star.

The good news is that this time of year when it’s too dang hot to even look at your oven, it’s also the time of year when most produce is at its plumpest, juiciest, freshest, and downright best. And lord knows, there are plenty of zucchini squash and tomatoes available.


Truth be told, this zucchini salsa with its original list of ingredients, seemed somewhat one-dimensional, and we prefer bolder flavors. In order to kick it up a notch, I added a diced large ripe beefsteak tomato and some chopped up leftover grilled onions. Now that did the trick! With just the two of us eating, we did have leftovers which we used on a bed of lettuce the following night for a dinner salad.

Our version of the zucchini salsa with added tomatoes and grilled onions.

Understandably, when the entire Bon Appétit Magazine was focused on recipes that only contain 5 ingredients (not including salt and pepper), the chefs had to severely limit themselves as to what to include. Since neither you nor I are under such restrictions, why not enhance the flavor combination with readily available summer produce?

Speaking of grilled onions, we often BBQ 1/4″ slices brushed with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper when we have extra room on the grill. Even if we don’t plan on eating them that evening, they can be used on future salads, in salsas, or simply as a side dish. Refrigerate them in an airtight container for up to a week.

A simple side of fresh corn on the cob, either grilled or boiled, completes the meal. Dinner done.

Do Ahead: Zucchini salsa can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.



  • 1½ pounds zucchini, cut into ¼-inch pieces (about 5 cups)
  • Optional but worth it: 1 large ripe tomato, diced in 1/4″ pieces
  • Optional but worth it: 1 grilled onion, slices chopped
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped oregano, plus leaves for serving
  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus more for steak
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1½-pound piece flank steak


  1. Toss zucchini, vinegar, chopped oregano, and ¼ cup oil in a medium bowl to combine; season zucchini salsa with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Prepare a grill for high heat. Meanwhile, flatten your steak. Cover a cutting board with a long piece of plastic wrap and set steak on top; fold plastic over steak to cover. Using the smooth side of a meat mallet, pound steak to about ½” thick. (Don’t hold back; you want it good and roughed up.)
  3. Pat steak dry with paper towels; season generously with salt and rub a bit of oil all over. Grill until browned, about 2 minutes per side for medium-rare. (You might not get that much color on this steak because it’s so thin, but you don’t want it to be overcooked.)
  4. Transfer steak to a cutting board and let rest 5–10 minutes. Cut in half lengthwise with the grain, then slice thinly against the grain.
  5. Arrange steak on a platter and spoon half of reserved salsa along with some juices over steak. Top with oregano leaves. Serve remaining salsa alongside.



An adaptation of recipe by Amiel Stanek from Bon Appétit

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