Grilled Rib-Eye of Beef with Balsamic Glazed Onions and Grilled Summer Vegetables by Stu Stein, chef/owner, The Peerless Restaurant, Oregon

Grass-fed beef is better for you, but it is the taste that matters to us. It has been our experience that you will have a passionate response: either love it or hate it. Grass-fed is leaner, gamier and will be tougher if cooked all the way through. The fat in grass-fed beef tastes lighter and does not coat your mouth like that of corn-fed beef; you will not get that heavy feeling after eating.

Grass-fed beef requires a few cooking tips. In general, grass-fed beef will cook more quickly than other beef. When grilling, first sear the meat over high heat, then move it to a cooler part of the grill to finish cooking. Be careful not to pierce the meat when turning or moving it, or the beef will lose some moisture.

Beef and Vegetables

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons garlic, finely chopped

1 large eggplant, cut in half and then cut into ¼-inch thick slices

1 medium green zucchini, cut into ¼-inch thick slices

1 medium yellow squash, cut into ¼-inch thick slices

1 red pepper

1 yellow pepper kosher salt and cracked black pepper, to taste

4 10-ounce beef rib-eye steaks, trimmed of excess fat kosher salt and cracked black pepper, to taste

Balsamic Onions

2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon butter

4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

To Prepare the Rib-Eye:
Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Combine oil and garlic. Set half of the oil mixture aside for the steaks and half for the vegetables.

Place eggplant in a large colander set over large bowl. Sprinkle salt over eggplant. Allow eggplant to sit and give off moisture for 45 minutes to an hour. Wash salt off of eggplant and pat dry with a towel.

In a large bowl, toss all the vegetables with half of the oil mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange eggplant, zucchini, squash and peppers on the grill at a 45 degree angle. Cook 3 to 4 minutes and then turn vegetables 90 degrees to create crosshatching marks. After 3 to 4 minutes, flip to other side and repeat process. Make sure the peppers are charred evenly on all sides.

Remove the vegetables from the grill and set aside. Place peppers in a paper bag, close the top and let them steam for 10 minutes to loosen their skins, then scrape the charred skin from the roasted peppers. Slice peppers in half. Remove the seeds and cut into ½-inch wide strips.

Brush remaining oil mixture on steaks with a basting brush. Sprinkle steaks with cracked black peppercorns and salt. Lay steaks on grill at a 45 degree angle. Cook 3 to 4 minutes and then turn 90 degrees to create crosshatching. After 3 to 4 minutes, flip steaks to other side, and repeat process. Grill until desired doneness.

To Prepare the Balsamic Onions: In a medium-size sauté pan over low to medium heat, melt butter. Add sliced onions and sauté, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and golden brown, approximately 20 minutes. Add vinegar. Bring to a boil and cook until the volume is reduced by one third. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and reserve.

To Serve : Arrange the grilled vegetables on a warm plate. Place steaks next to vegetables and top with balsamic onions.

Advance Preparation: The onions can be made a day ahead and reheated in a sauté pan. The vegetables can be grilled a day ahead and reheated in a 350° F oven just prior to serving.

Substitutes and Options: Mix and match whichever seasonal vegetables are the best and suit your taste. The balsamic onion mixture is also a wonderful accompaniment for stronger game meats such as grilled venison or buffalo. Makes 4 entrée servings