Weir Cooking in the City: Golden-Sautéed Veal with Arugula and Tomato Salad

Serves: 6

I first became acquainted with this dish many years ago when I visited Lucca, Tuscany where I cooked for a few days with Nonna, the 70-year-old grandmother chef, at the Antico Locando, a little roadhouse trattoria elegantly nestled by the side of the road. Nonna was a fabulous cook. This is a dish we cooked together and enjoyed as a late lunch that first day. She told me that chicken breasts may be substituted for veal in this make-ahead dish. Bread the veal hours in advance and, at the last minute, cook the veal and toss the salad. Perfetto! You have a simple, flavorful dish for a quick family supper.

• 1 1/4 pounds veal scallopine, cut from the sirloin
• 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
• 1 small clove garlic, minced
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
• 2 eggs, beaten lightly together
• 2 cups dry bread crumbs
• 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
• 3 cups very coarsely chopped arugula
• 2 small tomatoes, diced
• Lemon wedges as a garnish

Pound each piece of veal between two pieces of waxed paper with a large flat meat mallet until even.

In a small bowl, whisk 2 tablespoons of the olive oil with the lemon juice and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve.

To bread the veal, place the flour in one bowl, the eggs in another bowl, and the bread crumbs in a third bowl. Season the eggs and bread crumbs with salt and pepper and stir together to mix well. Coat both sides of the veal with the flour, shaking off the excess. Next, coat the veal with the egg, letting the excess drain. Finally, coat both sides of the veal lightly with the bread crumbs and pat off the excess.

In a large skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and the butter over medium-high heat. Add the veal pieces in a single layer. Do not overcrowd the pan. Cook the veal pieces, turning occasionally, until golden brown on each side, 4 to 6 minutes total.

Place the veal on a platter. Toss the arugula and tomatoes with the reserved vinaigrette. Top the veal with the salad and serve immediately, garnished with lemon wedges.

Wine suggestion: Grüner Veltliner, Beaujolais, or Pinot Noir

Recipe ©2004 Joanne Weir from Weir Cooking in the City, reprinted by permission.