You’ll Want to Make This Classic Dish Every Night

Have you ever tried veal with tuna sauce? These unlikely ingredients combine to make a classic Northern Italian dish that you need to try. We’re talking about vitello tonnato, which is a delicious cold dish that’s perfect for summer. Elegant, easy to make and the ideal match for rosé, this recipe may become your new favorite for dinner parties. Read on for the recipe. 

Veal and tuna. It might be hard to believe, but this odd pairing is actually delightful and well worth making at home. Vitello tonnato is an elegant dish of sliced veal served cold with a creamy sauce that is flavored with tuna and capers. Fit for a special meal, it’s actually so easy that you’ll want to make it for a family dinner. 

church-piedmont church.jpg
Vitello tonnato hails from Piedmont in the northwest of Italy, bordering Switzerland and France, surrounded on three sides by the Alps.

Our recipe is based on the classic Piedmontese dish, but instead of poaching, we pan-roasted the veal striploin. Because it is served chilled, you can prepare the veal and sauce ahead of time, then plate and serve for your company with no fuss.  While we like it with our humanely raised French veal, you may substitute with pork tenderloin for equally delicious results.

Our Vitello Tonnato Recipe

Yield: Serves 6 as an appetizer or light lunch.



2 large pastured egg yolks
5 ounces best-quality line-caught tuna in oil, we used Ortiz brand Ventresca del Norte
2 best-quality anchovy filets in oil
1½ tablespoons capers in brine, rinsed
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons lemon zest + 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
¾ cup Reserve Jean Reno Olive Oil – Black Fruity
¼ cup + 3 tablespoons avocado oil, divided use
½ Veal Striploin, Boneless (about 1.75lbs), silverskin trimmed
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Lemon wedges, for serving, optional
2 cups baby arugula


  1. Make the sauce: To the bowl of a food processor, add egg yolks, tuna, anchovies, capers, vinegar, lemon zest, lemon juice. Process until completely smooth. With the processor running, slowly drizzle in olive oil and ¼ cup avocado oil to form a thick mayonnaise. Taste for seasoning and add salt and/or pepper, as needed. Remove sauce to a bowl, cover, and chill completely.
  2. Remove the veal from the refrigerator 20 minutes before you start cooking. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Heat 2 tablespoons avocado oil in a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat; season both sides of the striploin with salt and pepper. Sear veal until nicely browned all over, about 2 minutes per side. Place in the oven and cook until the internal temperature of the veal registers 125 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, about 7-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Wrap the veal tightly in plastic wrap, twist and secure the ends. Refrigerate until fully chilled and firm, at least 2 hours but up to overnight.
  3. To plate: In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining tablespoon of avocado oil and balsamic vinegar; add arugula and toss to coat. Remove chilled veal from the plastic wrap and using a sharp slicing knife, cut into thin slices. Spread a generous amount of the sauce onto a large platter and arrange veal slices and arugula on top. Season with pepper, serve with lemon wedges, if using.
Young people making toast at picnic with rose wine
Vitello tonnato pairs well with chilled Gavi or dry rosé.

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