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The Perfect Summer Lunch: Tagliata di manzo su letto di rucola, pomodori e pecorino

Strips of beef on a bed of arugula, tomato and pecorino

strips of beef on a bed of rucola, tomatoes, pecorino and balsamic

This is the perfect summer lunch or a simple dinner that we first had a couple of years ago in Panzano at Il Cardo Enoteca. Il Cardo is an interesting little wine bar that is owned by the upscale Villa Bordoni property in nearby Greve. It was closed and very empty looking when we were in Panzano last month, hopefully not permanently.

il cardo enoteca in panzano, tuscany

The Enoteca does simple food like this recipe and has the full selection of the Consortium of Panzano wines, twenty in total, by the glass or in smaller tasting quantities. This is a great way to try the wines from the Panzano Chianti sub-zone before splashing out on a few bottles to take home.

We had this dish for lunch at the Enoteca and we now make it frequently throughout the summer because it takes just a few minutes to prepare and is delicious.

Ingredients: (quantities according to preference):

Small piece of fillet steak or other tender cut of beef

Fresh arugula (rocket)

Your favorite type of fresh summer tomato (we use thick slices of Canestrino or Cuore di Bue)

Pecorino cheese (fresh or stagionato but not pecorino romano)

Good quality Balsamico vinegar (not the thin watery version but the higher quality thicker Balsamico)

Top quality extra virgin Italian olive oil

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

(thin slices of red onion, optional)

arugula and fresh tomatoes

(If you’re not prepared to source the best quality of all the above ingredients then don’t bother making this dish because it will just be your average summer salad with a bit of steak thrown on top. If you can’t find Pecorino then you could use 24 or 30 month aged parmigiano reggiano, shaved not grated)


1. Dress the arugula with the best olive oil and red wine vinegar and mix well

2. Slice, dress and lightly salt the tomatoes and add on top

3. Season and quickly sautè the steak and cut into thin strips and add on top

4. Add the pecorino, thinly shaved

5. Drizzle the balsamico over everything

6. Serve with fresh focaccia and a chilled glass of rosato


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