Create this Tuscan delight in the comfort of your own home and one bite may transport you to the beautiful Tuscan region. Even though there are several components to the dish it comes together easily and almost all can be made ahead of time. Because of all the vegetables, no need to serve a side dish; it will be enough. The grilling would need to done right before serving, but the sauce can be made ahead and heated up right before serving. Tuscan Sunset seasoning was used and purchased from Penzey Spices stores or on-line. It does not contain salt, just dried herbs therefore I did sprinkle the fillets with a little kosher salt. Another option if you can’t find this brand is Tuscan Seasoning available at MySpiceSage. If you cannot find these particular spices in your area substitute with an Italian seasoning blend, make sure to read the label and taste before using for the marinade. You may not want to add any additional salt if the blend already contains salt. I also made my own sun dried tomatoes using our recipe Sun Dried Tomatoes, because the tomatoes are very flavorful and not chewy or hard. It takes only a few minutes to prepare the tomatoes for baking, but do make sure you allow enough time for them to bake slowly prior to creating this meal. They will need at least two hours to bake. Being that the oven was already on I opted to bake the red peppers low and slow. If you want them to be roasted, cook them after the sun dried tomatoes are done at a higher heat. See Roasting Peppers Technique. Another option is to purchase the jarred version. I also chose to use an aged balsamic vinegar. I am using Spicewood Food Company Balsamic Vinegar Aged 18 Years and can be purchased on-line, because it has a slightly sweet flavor that is similar to a reduction. Serves 4.
4 – 6 -8 oz. fillet mignon
1 tablespoon of Penzey brand Tuscan Sunset seasoning, MySpiceSage brand Tuscan Seasoning or Italian Seasoning
1 1/2 tablespoons of Spicewood Food Company Balsamic Vinegar Aged 18 Years
1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil
A sprinkle of kosher salt
Vegetables and Sauce
1 cup of Sun Dried Tomatoes, this should be the yield from our recipe
2 red bell peppers
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 – 4 oz. package of petite button mushrooms cleaned, if you cannot find petite, cut regular button mushrooms in half
1 – 14 oz. container of whole artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and quartered
1 cup of pitted kalamata olives cut in half
2 cubes of Dorot brand garlic or 2 cloves of garlic finely minced
4 tablespoons of Smart Balance brand butter or regular butter
1/3 cup of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
In a large Ziplock bag mix together seasoning, a sprinkle of kosher salt, oil and balsamic vinegar. Close and mix well. Add fillets to the bag and, remove air, close and gently massage fillets until evenly coated. Place the fillets back into the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight if possible. Every hour (if marinating for a shorter time) or so massage fillets and turn bag to allow all sides of fillet to be evenly coated with the marinade.
While fillets are marinating, make the sun dried tomatoes per our recipe. Set aside when done. While oven is on place the red peppers onto a small cookie sheet. Spray the cookie sheet and the peppers with a non-stick cooking spray. Place into the oven along with the sun dried tomatoes for an hour. Remove pepper and let cool. Peel the skin and remove seeds and stem. Cut red pepper into thin slices and set aside. Cut the pitted kalamata olives in half and quarter the artichoke hearts and set aside.
Make the sauce by heating the olive oil in a large deep skillet over high heat. Add mushrooms and sauté quickly to maintain shape of the mushroom but browning the edges. Lower heat to medium and add the sun dried tomatoes, peppers, artichoke hearts and kalamata olives. Sauté until warmed. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add remaining oil, butter and salt. Sauté until butter is melted and vegetables are evenly coated. Lower heat to a simmer if serving soon if not remove from heat and warm right before serving.
Heat a grill to a medium high heat. Sear each side of fillet for about 4 – 5 minutes that will normally yield a meat cooked to medium rare. If you prefer your meat medium well cook longer. Doneness of the fillet will depend on the thickness of the fillet and the type of grill you are using. If wanting to have grill marks as shown, place each fillet on the grill, after 2 1/2 minutes, using an imaginary clock move the fillets from the 12 o’clock position to the 9 o’clock position. Grill for an additional 2 1/2 minutes. Flip and repeat process. At this point you can see if your achieved the grill marks, if not try on the second side. Once grilled to desire doneness, remove and let rest for 5 – 10 minutes. Plate by adding a fillet and top with the sautéed vegetables in garlic butter sauce. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary or any other fresh herb if desired. Serve with a freshly grated Parmesan cheese or ricotta salata cheese.
Try a Super Tuscan or Sangiovese blend red wine, because it will allow the slight butteriness of this dish shine. This wine is a fantastic value at about 10.00, it is Vitiano 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Sangiovese Merlot. The Following wines range in price from about $15.00 to $45.00. Sasyr 2006 Sangiovese and Syrah Toscana Rocca delle Macie, Il Patriarca D’Aquileia Friuli 2004, Castello Banfi 2007 Rossi Di Montalcino, Tenuta Sette Ponti Crognolo Toscana any year, and my favorite Super Tuscan, Carpineto Farnito any year.