Kicking off our new Magazine of the Month, the June 2009 edition of La Cucina Italiana, I dove right in with a simple dish that combined sauteed veal and steamed broccoli with something I had never eaten before: turnips.
And it turns out I don’t like turnips, but the dish was really good anyway.
What pulls everything together is a simple sauce made of plain yogurt, fresh chives, salt and pepper. I thought I was going to hate the sauce but when I tasted it against the vegetables and veal, it reminded me of the food you’d order in any Greek-style restaurant. The trick to making the sauce come together is making sure you put it together first. As you prepare the remainder of the dish, the flavors of the sauce meld together, eliminating the yogurt taste and leaving you with a mouth-watering, peppery sauce.
After that, it’s all about the ingredients. The onions and turnips are prepared two ways, steamed and sauteed, creating diversity of taste and texture. At my grocery store I found a tiny selection of veal (stew chunks and cutlets – that’s it) so I chose cutlets, sliced them into 1 1/2-inch strips, and only sauteed them for 90 seconds. I also couldn’t find fresh pearl onions, only frozen, but they came out fine and I didn’t have to change the cooking time. As for the turnips, I thought they were bitter. I guess they just aren’t my thing. Everything else was, though. Despite how little you see on the plate, I thought it was a pretty filling dish. I don’t know if I would make it again, but it was pretty delicious, and an encouraging start for our latest MoM considering we’re cooking out of it almost solely for the next month.
Bianchetto di Vitello allo Yogurt
aka Sauteed Veal with Yogurt-Chive Sauce
Courtesy La Cucina Italiana, June 2009
1 cup plain nonfat or low-fat yogurt
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
2 medium turnips, peeled and cut into eighths
3/4 pound pearl onions, peeled
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds veal top round, cut into 1-inch cubes
Stir together yogurt and chives; season with salt and pepper.
Bring a large saucepan of water to boil. Add broccoli and simmer until crisp tender, about 4 minutes. Reserving water, transfer broccoli to a plate. Return water to boil, add turnips and onion and simmer until crisp tender, about 3 minutes. Drain vegetables and pat dry.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add veal in batches and cook, stirring, until browned and cooked to medium, about 4 minutes; transfer to a plate. Reduce heat to medium, add remaining
1/2 tablespoon oil, turnips and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Season veal and vegetables with salt and pepper.
Divide yogurt sauce onto plates and top with veal, sautéed vegetables and broccoli. Serve warm.