Tonnato Sauce – Not Just for Cold Veal Anymore

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Some things sound really amazing the first time you hear about them, and other things, like this tonnato sauce, really don’t. I was probably in my early twenties when this first appeared on my culinary radar as, “vitello tonnato.” At the time, a plate of cold, thinly-sliced poached veal dressed with a chilled, runny tuna sauce didn’t make a lot of sense, but I tried it anyway, and have been a fan ever since.


Ingredients for about 2 cups tonnato sauce:
1 (7-ounce) jar olive oil-packed tuna, plus reserved olive oil
6 olive oil-packed anchovy fillets
2 tablespoons capers, drained
3 tablespoons lemon juice, or more to taste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more to taste
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1 or 2 cloves minced garlic
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
pinch of cayenne

For the spring vegetable topping:
equal parts shaved raw carrot and thinly sliced raw sugar snap peas or snow peas, tossed with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Topped with arugula sprouts or thinly-sliced arugula leaves.

For the raw beef topping:
ice cold diced lean beef (I used eye of round), tossed with salt, pepper, olive oil, and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Topped with arugula sprouts or thinly-sliced arugula leaves.


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