This classic Italian recipe used to be found on many Italian restaurant menus and is making a comeback. Thin slices of veal are quickly sautéed and sauced with a tangy lemon and wine butter sauce studded with capers. Because smaller pieces of veal are pounded out into larger, thinner pieces, a little of this pricey cut of meat goes a long way. One pound easily feeds four diners.
Veal Picatta is usually thought of as a special occasion dish but makes a quick weekday dish by substituting the veal with very thin slices of pounded chicken breast meat. Once the meat is pounded out and floured, the dish comes together and is ready to serve in under 10 minutes.
While there are several variations on the basic Veal Picatta recipe, capers, the pickled flower bud of a Mediterranean shrub, appear in all versions. They can be found in small jars in the pickle aisle in supermarkets.
Serve with a rice pilaf, risotto or parslied new potatoes.
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 thin slices veal (scalloppini), each about 1/8 inch thick
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
1 minced shallot
1/2 cup white or marsala wine
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon rinsed and drained capers
1 teaspoon fresh Italian parsley leaves, minced
salt & pepper
Place each piece of veal between sheets of plastic wrap and pound lightly with meat tenderizer until very thin.
Lightly season with salt & pepper. Coat the veal the flour and pat off any excess.
In a large sauté pan, heat the oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium-high heat and sauté the veal for 1 minute, or until pale golden brown. Turn the veal and sauté it for 30 seconds more. Transfer the veal to a platter and keep it warm, covered.
Add the shallots to the pan and sauté for 45 seconds. Add the wine and simmer until slightly reduced. Add the lemon and the capers and simmer the mixture for 1 minute more. Taste for seasoning and add salt & pepper if needed. Turn the heat off and swirl in the butter and the parsley. Return the meat and any juices that may have accumulated to the sauce to reheat. Serve right away.