Tuscan~Style Veal Chops & Spring Greens with Oregano Vinaigrette


Tuscan~Style Veal Chops  |  Spring Greens with Oregano Vinaigrette  |  Roasted Baby Fingerling Potatoes

Intro Collage

“Happy is the herb gardener through all the seasons and the years.  His is a life enriched with rare fragrances to be enjoyed at dawn and dusk and in the heat of noon.  It is an esthetic experience to watch the patterns, textures, and shades of a gray~and~green garden develop through the changing seasons.  Our latent instinct for design is aroused and we amuse ourselves by arranging these muted tones and pleasing textures in garden rows, swirls and knots.  The householder’s pride and pleasure can be satisfied in the rich harvest of green leaves and savory seeds for seasoning and in the everlasting foliage and blossoms for dried bouquets.”  ~  Adelma Grenier Simmons, Herb Gardening in Five Seasons

This dinner is a celebration of herbs…three to be exact:  sage, rosemary and oregano, all fresh and brimming with aroma and flavor.  While rarely the main attraction, herbs have the ability to gently impart their flavor into foods of greater consequence…in this case, prime cuts of veal.  Hardly a regular meal in our home, these rosy, meaty chops have been on my mind for several days and, with visions of moist, tender, velvety~smooth meat, they made their way into my market basket this week despite the heavy price tag.  


Because of veal’s naturally delicate flavor, I wanted a preparation that would not overpower the meat.  I found the answer rested with herbs and this recipe.  With little more than some olive oil, salt, pepper and a generous helping of sage and rosemary, these chops turned out exquisitely tender and gently infused with herbal flavor.

The recipe begins with seasoning the meat, simply, with salt and freshly ground pepper along with a generous drizzle of olive oil…


The chops then head to the grill.  This is where I varied my preparation just a bit…the original recipe called for placing the meat on a grill rack set over moderately high heat but I did not want a harsh char on the chops {which can often lead to a slightly bitter taste}.  What I was looking for was a nice golden~brown finish to the meat and I achieved it by simply placing a large, cast~iron skillet on the grill rack and cooking the veal in the hot skillet to get a good sear but also protecting the meat from the direct flame.  When the chops were done {after about 5-6 minutes per side}, they were removed to a waiting roasting dish containing more olive oil, some pressed garlic and sage & rosemary leaves…

Herbs Collage

Piping hot, the chops readily absorbed the herb~infused oil while the meat rested.  The result:  succulent, tender meat with the subtle flavor of rosemary and sage…


Tuscan~Style Veal Chops
Serves 6
  1. 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil {divided}, plus more for drizzling
  2. 2 garlic cloves, peeled and pushed through a garlic press
  3. 2 tablespoons rosemary leaves
  4. 1/2 cup sage leaves
  5. six 12-ounce veal rib chops, cut 1 inch thick
  6. Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Light a charcoal grill. In a deep roasting dish, mix the 3 tablespoons of olive oil with the garlic, rosemary and sage and set aside.
  2. Season the veal chops with salt and black pepper and drizzle generously with olive oil.
  3. When the grill is ready, coat a heavy cast iron skillet with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and place the skillet on the grill rack set directly over the coals. Allow the pan to really heat up; beyond the oil shimmering but not too hot that it begins to smoke. Place the chops into the skillet being careful not to overcrowd {you may need to use 2 skillets depending on the size of your chops} and cook, turning once, about 4~5 minutes per side for medium rare. Transfer the chops to the prepared roasting dish and turn to coat with the olive oil and herbs. Generously drizzle the veal with olive oil and let stand for 3 minutes, turning the chops a few times. Spoon the juices and oil over the chops and serve.
Adapted from Food & Wine
Adapted from Food & Wine
THE DINNER CONCIERGE http://thedinnerconcierge.com/

Oregano, the last in the trio of herbs featured in this meal, was used to make a simple vinaigrette a bit more interesting.  Whenever I have fresh oregano on hand I always make a double batch of this dressing…my version of an Italian dressing.  This dressing is best when made in advance to allow the oil to pick up the flavor from the fresh oregano leaves.  


Stored in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid in the refrigerator, it will keep for up to a week.  Allow the dressing to come to room temperature before using.  For tonight’s salad, I tossed together a bunch of miner lettuce with a handful of a farmers’ kale mix…hearty lettuces that stand up well to oregano’s bold flavor.

Lettuce + Kale Collage

Oregano Vinaigrette
  1. 1/2 cup sherry vinegar
  2. freshly squeezed juice from 1 lemon
  3. 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
  4. 2 garlic cloves, peeled and pushed through a garlic press
  5. 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  6. 1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
  7. salt and freshly ground pepper
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a jar with a tight~fitting lid and shake until well combined. Use immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
THE DINNER CONCIERGE http://thedinnerconcierge.com/
 K Medium

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