Thin slices of veal, referred to as scaloppine, are popular in Italian cuisine. They are tender but do not have a lot of flavor, and so they are usually served with some kind of sauce or topping. You often find many variations on restaurant menus such as saltimbocca (with prosciutto and sage), with marsala, with balsamic, or piccata. Paola of Primo Non Sprecare proposed a variation I had not seen before: scaloppine with hazelnuts. Finely ground hazelnuts are used to thicken and flavor the pan sauce, and coarsely chopped hazelnuts add texture. The main change that I made compared to her recipe is that I toasted the hazelnuts first to bring out their flavor.
2 veal scaloppine of about 150 grams each (5 oz)
4 Tbsp shelled hazelnuts, toasted in the oven for 8 minutes at 180C/350F
2 Tbsp flour
80 ml (1/3 cup) dry white wine
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil olive oil
Grind half of the hazelnuts into a fine powder in the food processor. Chop the remaining half roughly.
Combine the finely ground hazelnuts with an equal amount of flour…
…and stir to mix.
Season the scaloppine with salt and freshly ground black pepper on both sides.
Coat the scaloppine on both sides with the hazelnut and flour mixture, pressing with your hands to make it stick as much as possible.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the rosemary, tilt the pan, and allow the rosemary to fry in the oil. This is to flavor the oil with the rosemary; make sure the rosemary doesn’t burn.
Fry the hazelnut-covered scaloppine in the rosemary-infused olive oil over high heat…
…turning as soon as the scaloppine are golden. They will need only 30-60 seconds because they are so thin. Watch out not to overcook the scaloppine.
Deglaze the pan with the white wine. Cook over high heat until half of the wine has evaporated, then take the scaloppine out of the pan and plate them (on preheated plates).
Add the remaining mixture of hazelnuts and flour to the pan…
…and stir over medium heat until the sauce has thickened.
Spoon the sauce over the scaloppine, and garnish with the coarsely chopped hazelnuts. Serve at once.
Although this is not common at all, white aspargus can be served as a dessert/cheese course, with goat cheese and honey. Very nice with a late-harvest Sauvignon Blanc.