Vitello tonnato with green bean salad and foccacia

Theo Randalls pairs this classic Italian recipe for veal served cold with salty focaccia and a green bean salad for a picnic treat
By Theo Randall
Vitello tonnato with green bean salad and foccacia
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus 20 mins for proving
  • Effort: medium


For the vitello tonnato

  • 500 g fresh veal loin
  • rosemary, chopped
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 200 ml olive oil
  • 100g tinned tuna, in oil
  • 6 anchovy fillets, in oil
  • 1 tsp parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp small capers

For the foccacia

  • 900 g strong plain flour
  • 100 g semolina
  • 15 g salt
  • 15 g sugar
  • 600 ml warm water
  • 35 g fresh yeast
  • 50 ml olive oil, plus extra for finishing

For the green beans

  • 250 g fine green beans
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 75 g freshly grated parmesan
  • 500 g mixed leaves, preferably cos, rocket, raddicchio and lollo rosso
  • 50 g parmesan shavings


For the vitello tonnato

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Sprinkle veal with salt, pepper and chopped rosemary and sear in an ovenproof pan until lightly coloured. Put it in the oven for approximately 20 minutes. Leave to cool.

2. Slice the cold veal loin as thin as you can and lay the slices on a large plate so they just overlap.

3. In a bowl, make a light mayonnaise by whisking an egg yolk and the lemon juice together. Whisk in the oil slowly, use some of the oil from the tuna tin. When this has thickened, add half the tuna and whisk until smooth. Spread it on top of the veal slices.

4. Cut the anchovy fillets into thin slices and garnish the veal. Add the remaining tuna fish, chopped parsley and capers.

5. Finish with a grind of black pepper and olive oil.

For the focaccia

6. Mix the flour, semolina, salt and sugar together in a large bowl.

7. Use a little of the water to mix the yeast to a smooth paste then add this to the flour along with the oil and enough water to make a soft but not sticky dough.

8. Knead for 10-15 minutes then cover and leave to rise for an hour, or until doubled in size. Knock the dough back and leave to relax for a few minutes.

9. Roll out the dough and place on a 30 x 60cm tin, lined with a little oil. Leave it to prove for 15-20 minutes. Top with more olive oil, chopped rosemary and sea salt then bake at 200C for approximately10 minutes.

For the green bean salad

10. Cook beans in a pot of boiling salted water for 4 minutes, then drain. While still hot, add lemon juice, olive oil and grated parmesan and toss so the parmesan sticks to the beans. Scoop out the beans and set aside.

11. Add the leaves to the remaining dressing and toss together, then place the green beans back into the salad. Serve with parmesan shavings on top.

Ready to eat al fresco? For inspiration, see our top 10 picnic recipes

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