Veal scallopini is a classic, some may say old-school quick dinner—a few moments in the pan, a quick stir to create a sauce, and dinner is done. It's been keeping people fed in a jiffy for centuries.
If you don't eat veal for animal welfare reasons, know that there is a new kind of veal on the market. The meat isn't milky white, it's pale red. Some places market it as "red veal" others use the Italian "vitello." The key thing is that it comes from the calves culled from the herd, not calves raised virtually motionless in pens. On the flavor front, it's nice to have veal back. Veal cutlets are about the easiest, quickest, tastiest thing you can pull together for a last-minute dinner. Here, veal cutlets are cooked with butter, lemon, and capers and served over arugula—the sauce acts as a dressing on the arugula and the heat from the veal and sauce gently wilt the leaves in a most pleasing fashion. Simple and delicious and ready in less than 20 minutes. Add some crusty bread or a side of roasted potatoes and you've got yourself dinner.
Looking for a breaded version? Check out these tasty Breaded Veal Cutlets.
- 1 pound veal scallopini or cutlets
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons butter cut into 4-8 pieces
- 4 cups loosely packed cleaned arugula leaves
- Pat the veal dry with paper towels and sprinkle it lightly with the salt. Heat the oil in a large frying pan (preferably large enough to hold all the veal in a single layer) over medium-high heat.
- Put as much of the veal as fits in a single layer in the pan (seriously, only cook as much as will fit in a single layer) and cook until it has started to brown and releases from the surface of the pan, about 2 minutes. Turn the cutlets and cook them until they're cooked through and browned on the second side, about 2 more minutes. Transfer the veal to a plate. Repeat with any remaining veal, if necessary.
- Return the frying pan to the heat. Add the capers to the pan and let them sizzle for about 30 seconds. Add the white wine and use a spatula to help scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan into the wine. Whisk together. Cook until the wine is reduced by at least half, about 2 minutes.
- Add the lemon juice and stir to combine. Swirl in the butter, whisking it in if you like, to make a sauce. Taste and add salt, if needed.
- Return all of the veal to the pan to coat it in the sauce. Divide the arugula between 4 plates. Drizzle a bit of the sauce over each serving of arugula before placing the veal on top of the salad. Drizzle any remaining sauce evenly over the veal. Serve immediately.