Veal Piccata

This veal scallop dish is quick to make and because of the lemon and capers is very light and refreshing. Some people object to eating veal.  For better or for worse, I love veal dishes and have several in my repertoire.The recipe works well with chicken scallops as well.

One of our family stories involves struggling with ordering a meal in a restaurant in Florence the first time we went to Italy.  The restaurant did not list any particular veal dishes we recognized, but proudly boasted “Veal a thousand ways” – with the locals knowing enough veal dishes to challenge the chef to cook any of their favorites.  At a loss of what to order, but wanting a veal dish, we indicated with hand gestures that any dish would do and were rewarded with a saltimbocca alla fiorentina, presented, of course, on a bed of the traditional Florentine spinach.

I definitely do not know of a thousand ways to cook veal, but this particular dish is one of my favorites.


  1. 3/4 pounds veal scallops about 1/3” thick
  2. 1/4 cup flour
  3. Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  4. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  5. 1/2 cup chicken stock
  6. 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  7. 2 teaspoons capers, rinsed and drained
  8. 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  9. 1tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

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Place the veal scallops between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a meat pounder until they are about ¼”thick.
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Put the flour, salt, and pepper in a bag – plastic or paper – and one by one drop in the scallops shaking the bag to coat the scallops thoroughly.
Remove the scallops from the bag and place them on a plate.
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  1. Heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter in heavy  sauté pan over high heat.
  2. Add the veal and sauté, turning once, until golden both sides ( 2-3 minutes per side).
  3. Transfer the scallops to a platter and keep warm.
  4. Pour off the excess butter and oil from the pan.
  5. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil over high heat. Deglaze the pan by stirring to dislodge any browned bits. Reduce the stock by half.
  6. Swirl in the lemon juice and capers and then the rest of the butter. Pour over the veal.
  7. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve at once.

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