Veal Escalopes in Lemon Sauce
Scaloppine, or escalopes, are popular in Italian cuisine. Often spelt ‘scaloppini’ in English, these thin cuts of meat are usually veal but they can also be chicken. The meat is dredged in flour, sautéed and then served with a sauce. The sauce might be piccata, which means lemon and capers, or it could be a wine sauce, or something tomato-based. Scaloppa means scallop in Italian, so scaloppe is scallops plural, and scaloppine (or scaloppini) means small scallops. Despite the name, these are nothing to do with seafood and are instead a meat dish.
The following recipe describes a very typical way of making this, and you will find this being served at dinnertime in Italian homes all over Italy. Even the smell of this dish is unique, and if you are strolling down a street in Italy and you suddenly smell meat and lemon in the air, that is a clue that a lovely scaloppini recipe is sizzling on somebody’s stove.
You can buy veal escalopes or get a butcher to thinly slice veal filets for you, then you need to dredge them in wheat flour. Don’t use too much flour – just drag each escalope through it, then shake off any excess. This crisps up to make a nice coating on the meat. Cook them for a white then add butter, white wine and lemon to the pan and cook the veal in that mixture to soak up the beautiful flavors. The scaloppini can then be served garnishes with chives or parsley, to add a splash of color.
- 14 oz veal escalopes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 2 oz butter
- ¾ cup white wine
- All-purpose flour, for coating the veal
- 8 chives (4 of them chopped)
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Dust the escalopes lightly with flour.
- Pour some oil into a skillet and heat it up.
- Add the escalopes and some salt and black pepper.
- Sauté for 2 or 3 minutes per side or until golden brown.
- Drain off excess oil and add the butter to the pan.
- Add lemon juice and cook until it evaporates, then add the white wine.
- Add a little more salt and black pepper too at this point.
- Cook for 2 minutes.
- Transfer the escalopes to a serving dish and pour the sauce over the top.
- Garnish with whole and chopped chives.
- Add some strips of lemon zest too if you like.
Veal scaloppini is a classic Italian dish, something you will see on Italian menus everywhere and something any Italian cook worth his or her salt can rustle up in as few as 15 minutes from scratch. What makes this dish so special is the subtle flavors it boasts, namely white wine, lemon and butter. The photo shows how the chives add a nice color to the dish, although parsley is perhaps more usual in Italy, and the fried zucchini makes an attractive side dish. Veal scaloppini sauces vary from tomato or wine-based ones to lemon and caper sauce, but scaloppini al limone is a very traditional way of preparing the escalopes.
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