Strawberry rhubarb pie, served after a steak dinner, is just right for Dad. Karen Schneider / For The Forecaster

Karen Schneider cooks and writes in the village of Cundy’s Harbor. You can reach her at or 504-0545.

When I think of the food aspects of Father’s Day, a steak dinner always comes to mind. If you’re fortunate enough to be able to do something special for your dad this weekend, count your blessings.

Not only can I recommend these recipes for Father’s Day, but this tasty trio can be prepared throughout the next month or so, as long as the weather doesn’t get too hot for the rhubarb and the strawberries are ripe and juicy. And yes, we all know how prolific green beans can be.

This steak marinade can be whipped up any time of year and is just right for any type of red meat, including kebabs. This mixture imparts a wonderfully rich savory/sweet flavor to the meat while also tenderizing it and making for the perfect “crust” when grilled.

I’m sure you all have your tried-and-true methods for grilling steak. My go-to trick is to never cut the steak to see if it’s done to my liking. I depend on a meat thermometer using these temperatures as a guide: rare, 130 degrees; medium-rare, 135 degrees; medium, 140-143 degrees; medium-well, 150 degrees; and well-done, 160 degrees. Allow the steak to rest for 5 minutes before putting a knife to it.

With the steak, serve this textural, colorful bean salad – which is not your mom’s bean salad. You can play around with this by using thinly sliced celery, onion, radishes, or any other crunchy vegetable instead of the fennel.

Make extra basil vinaigrette, as it adds an extra spark of summer to cucumbers, tomatoes, grilled zucchini and salmon.


Then there’s pie. This one is so easy with its crumb topping, and if you use a ready-made pie crust, it’s OK. Get yourself some rhubarb and strawberries and have at it. Change up the spice if you like. My daughter uses a teaspoon of vanilla with the fruit instead and my grandmother always used nutmeg. This is best served chilled or at room temperature – with vanilla ice cream.

World’s best steak marinade

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup soy sauce

3 tablespoons minced garlic

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons olive oil


2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon onion powder

Mix in a bowl, then marinate the steak in a zip-close bag or a non-metal covered container, ideally for 3-6 hours, in the refrigerator.

Yield: Marinade for 1 1/2 to 3 pounds of steak.

Two-bean salad with basil vinaigrette

1/2 pound thin green beans, trimmed and cut in half


1 (15.5-ounce) can large white beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 medium fennel bulb (1 cup), thinly sliced

2 tablespoons capers, drained

1/2 cup fresh Parmesan, finely diced (optional)

In a large pot, simmer green beans in salted water for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes (depending on size) until crisp-tender. Drain, then plunge them into ice water to cool them. Drain again and pat dry with a towel. Place green beans in a large bowl and add white beans, fennel and capers.

Pour vinaigrette over the vegetables and toss. Add Parmesan.



1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar

5 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

In a blender or food processor, combine basil, mustard and vinegar and blend until basil is well-chopped. With the machine running, slowly add olive oil, scraping down the sides of the blender/processor if needed. Season with salt and pepper, then add more oil and/or vinegar to taste if needed.


Yield: 4 servings

Strawberry rhubarb pie with crumb topping

Pastry for single crust pie

1 large egg

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


3 cups rhubarb, chopped

1 pint strawberries, halved

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll pastry to a 1/8-inch thick circle, then transfer to a 9-inch pie pan. Trim crust to 1/2 inch beyond rim of pan and flute the edge.

In a large bowl, beat egg, then mix in sugar, flour and cinnamon until well-blended. Gently stir in rhubarb and strawberries. Pour into crust. Cover fruit with topping and press it down gently with the back of a spoon.

Bake 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly, about 35 minutes longer. Cool on a wire rack, giving it an hour to set up before slicing.

Yield: 8 servings



3/4 cup flour

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup cold butter, cubed

In a small bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, oats and cinnamon. Cut in butter until crumbly.

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