Veal Schnitzel with Tuna Sauce and Herb Salad

Serves: 4

This is a cracker from my backlog of Gourmet Traveller magazine tear-outs: essentially a 10cm pile of recipes I’ve torn from years of magazines.

Think quick-fire Friday dinner.

Nothing too complex, wine in hand, Friday night great dinner.

Each element is a winner.

A classic veal schnitzel. The flavour of a classic vitello tonnato liberally lashed on the veal. And the crunch of the salad of parsley, tarragon and shallot.

Bloody yum.

Keep the wine going and this is a Friday no-brainer.

How good is a good schnitty?!

Ingredients

2 c panko crumbs
2/3 c finely grated pecorino
1/2 c plain flour, seasoned
2 eggs, slightly beaten
4 veal schnitzels
Vegetable oil for shallow frying
1 c each (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley, dill and tarragon
2 red shallots, thinly sliced
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

Tuna sauce

185gm canned tuna in olive oil, drained
1/2 c mayonnaise
2 tbsp baby capers in vinegar, drained and chopped
40gm cornichons, finely chopped
1/4 c (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley
1-2 tbsp lemon juice plus wedged to serve

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 100c and line a baking tray with baking paper. Mix panko and pecorino in a bowl, then place seasoned flour and egg in separate bowls. Dust schnitzels in flour shaking off the excess, then dip into egg and press into the panko, coating evenly.
  2. Fill a large, deep frying pan with 2cm oil and heat to 180c. Fry the schnitzels in batches until golden brown and cooked through: 2 – 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels, placed on prepared tray and keep warm while you cook the remaining schnitzels.
  3. Meanwhile, combine herbs and shallot in a bowl.
  4. For the tuna sauce, blitz the ingredients in a small food processor until combined though still textured.
  5. Top schnitzel with herb mixture, drizzle with oil and season to taste with salt flakes. Serve with tuna sauce and lemon wedges.

Antonio Carluccio’s Insalata all’Abruzzese (Vegetable and Tuna Salad)

Serves: 4

This salad is a triumph of flavours: the combination of cooked and raw vegetables, the tuna, the whole thing.

(Yes, it is a summer salad and we had it in the tail of winter, though the sun was out and we had some good Italian wines to try.)

With a bit of toasted bread, this is a meal on its own.

Though next time I serve this, I hope it is part of a long Italian feast welcoming our family and friends back into our home.

That’s when the really good Italian whites and reds are coming out.

Bookmark this one. It is beautiful. And lockdown will end one way or the other!

Ingredients

300gm young zucchinis (around 4 small)
200gm green beans, trimmed (about a big handful)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
200gm tomatoes (around 2 tomatoes)
1 red pepper
1 red onion
150gm good canned tuna in oil, drained
8 anchovy fillets in oil, drained
8 basil leaves, torn
1 tsp dried oregano
1 – 3 red chillies, chopped
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar

Method

  1. Quarter the zucchinis lengthways, then cut into chunks. Cook the beans until al dente, drain and cool. Repeat with the zucchinis.
  2. Cut the tomatoes into wedges and remove the seeds. Halve, core and deseed the pepper, then cut into long, thin strips. Finely slice the red onion.
  3. Put the zucchinis, beans, tomatoes, red pepper and onion into a bowl. Break the tuna into little chunks and add to the salad with the anchovies, herbs and as much fresh chilli as you can take! Toss everything together, adding the olive oil, followed by the wine vinegar. Season and serve at room temperature.

Tuna with caponata

Serves: 4

We love a piece freshly cooked tuna or swordfish, dressed with diced tomato, olives, some balsamic and olive oil. Super simple, super quick, foolproof.

Which means that caponata and fresh tuna – with, let’s say, three-times the effort of the abovementioned – really is where you need to be for that special, healthy, weeknight dinner.

It’s worth the extra effort.

Add some steam greens or a green salad – and definitely a bottle of white wine – and this is an awesome meal for you and friends.

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil
4 tuna steaks
Extra-virgin olive oil to serve
Lemon wedges to serve
Steam beans or a green salad to serve

Caponata

1/4 cup olive oil
1 small red onion, cut into 2cm pieces
1 large eggplant, cut into 2cm pieces
200gm grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
12 black olives, pitted and halved
1 1/2 tbsp capers in vinegar, rinsed
1 birdseye chilli, thinly sliced

Method

  1. For the caponata, heat half the oil in a large frying pan over a high heat. Add onion and stir until golden and softened (5 minutes). Remove from pan.
  2. Add the eggplant and remaining oil to the pan and stir to coat; add 1/4 cup of water and then cover with a lid and steam until tender (5 minutes). Remove the lid and cook, stirring occasionally until golden (5 minutes).
  3. Return onions to the pan, add remaining ingredients and cook, stirring occasionally until tomatoes soften.
  4. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Season tuna and add to the pan and sear, turning once until cooked medium rare (2-3 minutes each side).
  5. Cut steaks in half and serve with caponata, lemon wedges, a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil… steamed beans or a salad and definitely that bottle of white!