Grilled Sirloin with Lemon-Chive Pesto

If you love steak, this one’s for you.

And even if you don’t love steak, this one may still be for you.

Because I definitely don’t love steak, and I do enjoy this dish.

Here’s where steak ranks in my Likes vs. Dislikes Life List:

1) would prefer eating a plate of overcooked brussels sprouts (that aren’t even seasoned) to eating a steak

2) would prefer eating a few bites of steak to vacuuming the living room

3) would eat an entire three-ounce serving of steak if it could somehow buy my way out of a routine dental cleaning.

So, no, steak does not rank as one of the big loves in my life.

But I will say, this particular steak dish is one I enjoy.  I think the accompanying Lemon-Chive Pesto, with all its bright, light, fresh notes, is the perfect complement to the hearty, buttery grilled steak.

And my husband, always game for any dish meat-and-potatoes-related, says this recipe ranks high on his list of favorite steak dishes.

Here is everything you need to create your Lemon-Chive Pesto Grilled Sirloin.

Only six key ingredients (including the steak), and this dish is ready in 20 minutes!

Begin by squeezing all of the juice from one lemon.

Next, hold your knife (so it’s parallel to the cutting board, as shown) over a clove of garlic and press down hard to smash it, breaking the clove free from the skin.

Grab a food processor and add all of the following: lots of fresh chives, some fresh parsley, the freshly squeezed lemon juice, the clove of garlic, and some toasted pine nuts.

Season with salt and pepper.

Pulse until a thick paste is formed.

Add just a bit of extra virgin olive oil and pulse again, until well combined.

Next up: the steak.

If you’re wondering whether steak could actually be considered healthy, the answer is maybe.

Steak tends to be fairly high in saturated fat and cholesterol, but it can be a healthy choice for dinner, once in a while.

There are a couple of things to consider in selecting a healthier steak.

First, consider the cut of beef. Here’s a helpful guide to leaner cuts of beef.  To sum it up, ask your butcher for any of the following cuts:

  • Eye of round roast or steak
  • Sirloin tip side steak
  • Top round roast and steak
  • Bottom round roast and steak
  • Top sirloin steak

These are the leanest options and lowest in saturated fat (under 2 grams of saturated fat per serving).

Second, grass-fed beef is a good choice if you can find it.  Grass is what cattle were designed by nature to eat, so grazing on their most natural diet of grass is better for the animals and for the environment.

Grass-fed beef is better for us too, not just because it’s the more natural choice but also because it has a higher proportion of omega-3 fats (healthy, disease-preventing fats most of us need more of in our diets).

These selections can add up to a mild case of Sticker-Shock-Induced-Panic at the checkout register (quality beef is pretty pricey!).

So my solution is to make steak a once-in-a-great-while dinner option in our household.

Prepare the grill for medium heat.

Season the steaks well with salt and pepper.  Seasoning well makes a world of difference in the final flavor of your steak.

Place the steak on the grill and allow them to cook, untouched, for about seven minutes.

During this time, resist the urge to flip, move, or press down on the steak.  Allowing the steaks to cook, untouched, is key to getting a nice crust on the outside while the inside remains moist and tender.

Flip the steaks and allow them to cook for about seven minutes more.

The easiest way to tell when the meat is ready: insert a meat thermometer into the very center of the steak and look for an internal temperature of 145 degrees F for a medium-rare steak.

One more tip: allow the steaks rest for about seven minutes before cutting them.  This resting period is key to making your steak as tender, moist, and juicy as possible.

Top the steaks with plenty of the Lemon-Chive Pesto, and serve.

I love something fresh, bright, and citrusy to balance out the rich, buttery flavor of steak.

And all of the healthy citrus and herbs transform plain old steak to a dish that’s loaded with healthy nutrients.

This grilled steak is the perfect combination of flavors: a light, delicate onion flavor from the chives, lots of contrasting tart citrus, and a little nuttiness from the olive oil and pine nuts.

I actually finished my serving of steak when I made this dish, which says a lot.

If you ask me, I’d say this recipe is most certainly … okay.

If you ask my Meat-and-Potatoes-Guy (and I did) he’d say “this is a really delicious steak. This one definitely needs to go on your blog.”

Here is the complete printable recipe:

Grilled Sirloin with Lemon-Chive Pesto
Recipe type: Healthy Beef Dish
Total Time: 20 minutes
Prep: 6 minutes
Cook: 14 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
  • 16 ounces top sirloin steak
  • ½ cup fresh parsley
  • ¾ cup fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Arrange the pine nuts on a parchment-lined baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 5 minutes, or until they become light golden. Watch carefully, they burn quickly!
  3. To a food processor, add the parsley, chives, toasted pine nuts, garlic, and lemon juice.  Season with salt and pepper. Pulse until a thick paste is formed.  Add the olive oil and pulse until well combined.
  4. Prepare the grill for medium heat.
  5. Season the sirloin steaks well with salt and pepper.  Place the steaks on the grill and cook, untouched, for about 7 minutes.  Flip the steaks and grill the second side for about 7 minutes more, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the very center of the steak reads 145 degrees F (for a medium rare steak).  Place the steaks on a platter, cover, and allow them to sit for five minutes.
  6. Top each steak with a generous portion of the Lemon-Chive Pesto, and serve.

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  1. June 4, 2012 / 7:13 pm

    This is a beautifully grilled one piece of meat, I am sorry for the details but I am salivating!! And with that lemon chive pesto, OMG I can’t wait for the weekend to make something similar!!

  2. Food Stories
    June 4, 2012 / 8:02 pm

    Beautiful and vibrant 🙂

  3. June 4, 2012 / 8:36 pm

    This looks so pretty and sounds absolutely yummy. I love steak and so does our whole family. Thanks for the recipe.

  4. June 4, 2012 / 8:40 pm

    this steak looks like it’s been grilled beautifully 🙂

  5. June 4, 2012 / 8:57 pm

    Oh that lemon chive pesto sounds divine for steak, pasta, or just over some fresh green beans!

  6. June 4, 2012 / 9:44 pm

    Wow, I think I’m going to make this pesto tomorrow to serve with some london broil I made today. It sounds so fresh!

  7. June 4, 2012 / 11:01 pm

    I don’t even eat meat and that looks delicious. i love the lemon chive pesto you added on top of the steak. delicious.

  8. June 4, 2012 / 11:54 pm

    Brilliant! Love this even more for the pesto x

  9. June 5, 2012 / 12:54 am

    YUM!!!! Looks delicious! I made a tri tip with chimichurri. Its kind of the same great concept!

  10. June 5, 2012 / 1:03 am

    What a stunning summer dish my friend – lovely!


  11. June 5, 2012 / 4:30 am

    I wish I had a grill you have! It looks so yummy!

  12. June 5, 2012 / 5:22 am

    Little Chef …. looks good enough to eat – not a beef fan, but ones in a while I enjoy it. Love piece of meat you have there and I love the read of that pesto. Love to see you working on wooden boards too – hate the plastic and so unhygienic. Well done again and your photos really talks for themselves.

  13. June 5, 2012 / 6:32 am

    I don’t eat steak either but like the look of the pesto… and the photographs of the lemons are gorgeous!!

  14. June 5, 2012 / 2:35 pm

    Lemon chive pesto sounds so delicious. I might have to make some to put over grilled tofu! This past weekend we got garlic scapes from our CSA and I made garlic scape and arugula pesto. It was delicious!

  15. June 5, 2012 / 3:27 pm

    Really love the simplicity of this dish which seems to pack in flavour with a green salad it makes my mouth water!

  16. June 5, 2012 / 4:20 pm

    Your food presentation is so inventive. I envy you the talent. Beautiful looking dish.

  17. June 5, 2012 / 5:44 pm

    LOL, I love steak, so since you’re a non-steaker lover and you’re recommending this recipe, I’m definitely all over it! I enjoy different pestos and a pesto-topped steak sounds just perfect. Nice!

  18. June 6, 2012 / 4:13 am

    Pesto does have a way of making everything better! This looks delicious. The elements in your pesto make for an excellent condiment for a lot of things. Your picture does look straight out of a magazine. Excellent post.

  19. June 6, 2012 / 8:12 am

    This bright and flavorful pesto is a perfect topping for your steak! Looks delicious!

  20. Bee
    June 6, 2012 / 10:49 am

    I’m a weirdo who puts ketchup on her steak. I think I could earn a few fancy points by doing this though!

  21. June 6, 2012 / 4:22 pm

    You had me chuckling with you like…dislike list. I have loads of chives in my garden this year and this is a nice way to use some of it.

  22. June 6, 2012 / 9:13 pm

    This steak is definitely for me. Looks amazing.

  23. June 7, 2012 / 6:16 am

    I love any kind of Pesto and this combination sounds fantastic!

  24. June 7, 2012 / 7:25 am

    No problem for me: i do love steak!! good recipe!

  25. June 7, 2012 / 11:58 am

    This looks absolutely perfect. I have only had steak..once? Maybe twice in my life? I’m always afraid I’ll ruin it, but with your suggestions on how to cook it, I don’t think I should worry if I just follow this recipe, thank you!

  26. June 7, 2012 / 1:20 pm

    I love the idea of pesto on red meat, I have to try it, almost like a chimichurri sauce!! Good for Father’s Day too.

  27. June 8, 2012 / 12:06 pm

    That Pesto looks great…. I bought some little steaks for supper tonight but have no darn parsley 🙁

  28. June 8, 2012 / 8:20 pm

    Being from Alberta, there is no shortage of excellent beef. I can’t wait to try your pesto – looks like a fresh taste to mix things up from our normal barbeque. I really enjoy your blog and have nominated you for the Sunshine Blogger’s Award. Details can be found at Terri

  29. June 8, 2012 / 9:42 pm

    You always grab me with the recipe name and first photo – such delightful fare you dish up!

  30. June 11, 2012 / 6:37 pm

    This steak looks amazing! I’m not sure I can eat pesto (pesky unknown nut allergies), but your photos are fantastic!

  31. June 14, 2012 / 11:11 pm

    LOVE this. Most people just use pesto as a dip but isn’t steak and pesto just the best! Looks seriously delicious!

  32. healthyyou72
    June 16, 2012 / 7:55 pm

    Hubby and I love grilling for sure, and love finding fun unique recipes:-) Love your lemon chive pesto, it sounds really refreshing! Hugs, Terra

  33. Chad E Walters 81
    October 14, 2023 / 9:27 am

    Lame. Own it. Eat the beef. Someone else Will do it for you. Your a carnivore. You need to find a reason to not eat beef. It is what it is. That’s a good recipe, but I see a vegetarian in there. Fuck that shit. Embrace the fact that you love meat. Don’t fight it. We only get a short window, no Need to miss out on what will probably be a thing of past in a 100 years.

    • Jen Elizabeth's Journals
      October 17, 2023 / 2:08 pm

      I’d like to respond to this comment by saying that I believe in embracing and honoring differences. Some people may have strong cravings for steak or burgers, and that’s perfectly fine. I really dislike the taste of steak and burgers and never eat red meat because I simply don’t like it – and that’s also perfectly fine. We need to learn how to show honor and respect toward others with the little things or we’ll never be able to navigate human relations and communication when it really matters.

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