The new vitello tonnato

The new vitello tonnato

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  • 2:00 Prep
  • 0:25 Cook
  • 4 Servings
  • Advanced

In this updated version of the Italian classic, Valli Little has taken the tuna out of the sauce and used it to make croquettes.

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Main recipes, Salad recipes


  • 1 potato (about 200g), chopped
  • 185g can tuna in oil, drained
  • 1/2 small onion, grated
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten, plus 1 extra yolk
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) lemon juice, plus wedges to serve
  • 1 cup (300g) whole-egg mayonnaise, plus 1 tablespoon extra
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus fried parsley leaves to serve
  • 1/2 cup (150g) plain flour, seasoned
  • 1 cup (50g) panko breadcrumbs (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 x 300g veal fillets, trimmed
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped chives
  • 1/4 cup (50g) baby capers, rinsed, dried, plus fried capers to serve
  • 1 anchovy fillet in oil, drained, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • Sunflower oil, to deep-fry


  • Step 1
    Cook potato in boiling, salted water for 10-12 minutes until tender. Drain, then mash well. Combine potato, tuna, onion, extra yolk, lemon zest and 1 tablespoon juice, 1 tablespoon mayonnaise and 2 tablespoons parsley. Season, then roll into 16 x 2cm balls. Dip balls first in flour, then in beaten egg and finally coat well in crumbs. Chill for 1 hour to firm up.
  • Step 2
    Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Season veal, then cook, turning, for 3-4 minutes until seared. Cool slightly.
  • Step 3
    Combine chives, capers, anchovy, garlic and remaining 1/3 cup parsley on a plate, then roll the veal fillets in the herb mixture to coat well. Enclose each tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for 30 minutes.
  • Step 4
    Half-fill a large pan or deep-fryer with sunflower oil and heat to 190°C (a cube of bread will turn golden in 30 seconds). In batches, deep-fry croquettes for 2 minutes or until golden. Drain on paper towel.
  • Step 5
    Combine remaining 1/4 cup (60ml) lemon juice and 1 cup (300g) mayonnaise. Thinly slice veal and serve with croquettes, capers, parsley, mayonnaise and lemon.

  • Author: Valli Little
  • Image credit: Andy Lewis
  • Publication:



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