My summery vitello tonnato

Sandra Slawinski 10th July 2019 0 comments

Vitello Tonnato is an Italian dish, a true surf and turf dish from the region of Piedmonte. Consisting of sliced veal covered with a creamy, mayonnaise-like sauce with tuna and capers. Generally it is served in summertime as an antipasto or main course. The veal requires braising and resting, making it in advance is a must.

Making this dish, being one of my ultimate favourite, is daunting, cause what if it doesn’t come out right? Now fear aside, let’s get started!

There are plenty of recipes online to choose from, as usual created my own version from reading about 20 different ones. Not sure if Italian mamas will approve but I was pretty impressed with the result and wondered why I was worried trying this. All you need is time …

Start with good quality meat. I don’t eat a lot of meat but when I do I choose to go for a beautiful piece from a good and reliable butcher.

I use shop-bought veal stock for many reasons. Primarily I don’t make my own stock because of lack of space in my little shoe-box of a kitchen where my freezer is the size of a peanut. I know it is shocking but this is reality. And we are blessed in Belgium to have plenty of great stock brands available to us.

STEP 1: Submerge the veal roast in veal stock with fresh thyme and braise.

STEP 2: After draining and resting the veal, slice thinly.

STEP 3: Serve with tuna sauce and capers.

Vitello Tonnanto

Yield 4 portions


  • 500 gr veal roast
  • 500 ml chicken or veal stock
  • 50 ml white wine
  • fresh herbs : thyme and baie leave
  • 1 red onion, chopped in 4 large pieces
  • 200 gr canned tuna
  • 5 anchovy fillets
  • 5 large capers and a few as garnish 
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 50 gr mayonnaise, homemade or shop bought
  • salt and pepper


  1. Pour the stock and wine into a pot just large enough to fit the veal. Add the herbs and onion, bring to the boil. Reduce heat and add the veal, bring back to a boil for a few minutes, turn the veal on all sides for 30 seconds. Turn off the heat and cover the pot and let the veal cool in its liquid for 2 hours.
  2. Drain the tuna, add to food processor with the anchovies, capers, olive oil, lemon juice, mayonnaise, season with salt and pepper. Blitz till creamy and uniform sauce. Add more mayonnaise or olive oil to get the consistency you prefer. (I don't like it lumpy)
  3. Slice the cooled veal very very thinly, layer on the plate. Add the tuna sauce, garnish with capers and serve.


on by Sandra Slawinski

Written and photographed by Sandra Slawinski without commercial deals. I used my Le Creuset cookpot, plate from Hema, dishtowel from Daylesford Farm London shop.