One of the meals that Father requests often is Veal Saltimbocca. I had already planned a pizza party for Sunday for Father’s Day, but I saw some lovely veal scallopini from Rossotti Ranch at the Farmer’s Market Sunday morning and I couldn’t resist, so that made Monday night’s menu. I love that they have pasture raised veal, and that they are local. It’s really the best way to buy meat of any kind, and I do so whenever I can. Once you see how commercial animals are farmed, you will want to buy from the small local farms. The difference is amazing – everyone commented on how tender and delicious the veal was. Saltimbocca, which means “jumps in the mouth” in Italian, consists of thin slices of veal topped with sage and prosciutto, laid flat and sautéed in butter. I already had some prosciutto at home, and sage growing in our front yard. I decided to dress it up a bit and made it into involtini and made a cognac cream sauce to go with it. Involtini means “rolled up” in Italian, and commonly refers to any sort of thin meat, or even eggplant, rolled around a filling. In Spanish, these are called Niños Envueltos, which literally means “wrapped up little children”. Kinda weird. No idea why. Anyway, I paired it with a Caprese salad, now that we have some nice heirloom tomatoes showing up in the store. We had some berries for dessert, and Creg dressed them up with his famous homemade whipped cream. It was a nice quick meal, and continued the Father’s Day celebration!
Veal Involtini with Cognac Cream Sauce
- 8-12 pieces of Veal Scallopini (depends on size)
- 8-12 pieces of Prosciutto
- 16-24 sage leaves
- 2 tbsp oliv oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup cognac
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
Pat veal dry and lay out in a single layer on a cutting board. Place 2 pieces of sage and 1 piece of prosciutto on each piece of veal. Starting with the smallest end, roll up and secure with a toothpick. Sprinkle with salt.
Heat oil and butter in a large stainless skillet over medium-high heat. Add involtini and brown on all sides, about 2-3 minutes. Remove to a plate.
Remove pan from heat and add cognac. Place back on heat and reduce for about a minute. Add the cream, and add back the involtini. Taste for seasoning. Bring the sauce back to a simmer, and cook for about 5 minutes, turning the involtini every couple of minutes. When they are done, remove the involtini to a plate, remove the toothpicks, and serve on individual plates with the sauce spooned over.
- 4 large ripe heirloom tomatoes
- 2 balls of BŪF mozzarella
- 3-4 leaves of fresh basil
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Maldon sea salt or fleur de sel
- Fresh ground black pepper
The key to a great caprese is to not skimp on the quality of the ingredients. When you have something so simple, you really want each ingredient to shine, so buy the best that you can afford. If you grow your own tomatoes, even better (or find a friend who grows them, like I do!).
Slice tomatoes and mozzarella and arrange on a plate with the slices overlapping slightly. Make a chiffonade of the basil by stacking the leaves on top of one another, rolling up like a cigar, and then cutting thin slices. Sprinkle the basil on top of the tomatoes and mozzarella. Drizzle with oil. This is the time when you want to break out that special finishing oil you’ve been keeping in the cupboard. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve.