Vitello tonnato is one of my favorite summertime Italian imports. It doesn't get any better than cool slices of veal (or even turkey) spread with a creamy, mayonnaise-based tuna sauce dotted with salty capers. Or at least it didn't until I found this recipe for Radicchio, Turkey, and Snow Pea Salad in Recipes from an Italian Summer.
This salad brings in another favorite ingredient of mine, radicchio, and mixes it with sweet-tender snow peas, and chunks of roasted turkey, all dressed with my beloved tonnato sauce. It's a riff on the classic vitello tonnato but transforms the not-that-great-for-you plate (really just meat slathered in mayonnaise) into something that could be considered balanced, if not really healthy per se.
The small dice of turkey mixed with bitter radicchio and snow peas are dressed lightly with olive oil and white pepper—the combination is pretty tasty on its own even. But dressing with a mix of mayonnaise, tuna, capers, and white vinegar and adding a few slices of hard-boiled egg at the end really makes the dish. I ate mine as is but I'm seriously considering mixing up the leftovers and making it into a sandwich with a few leaves of arugula and a squeeze of lemon juice.
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As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Recipes from an Italian Summer to give away this week.
- For the salad:
- 2 2/3 cups trimmed snow peas
- Scant 1 1/2 cups diced, cooked turkey breast
- 2 1/2 cups shredded radicchio
- Olive oil, for drizzling
- 2 hard-cooked eggs, sliced
- Salt and white pepper
- For the tuna sauce:
- 4 ounces canned tuna, drained and flaked
- Scant 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons rinsed, drained, and chopped capers
Blanch the snow peas in a pan of salted boiling water for 3 - 4 minutes until just tender, then drain and set aside. To make the sauce, combine the tuna and mayonnaise in a bowl until creamy, then stir in the vinegar and capers.
Put the turkey, radicchio, and snow peas into a salad bowl and mix, then drizzle with olive oil and season lightly with white pepper. Garnish with the slices of hard-cooked eggs, pour the tuna sauce over the salad, and serve.