What is Vitello Tonnato?
In Italian, vitello means 'veal' and tonnato, 'tuna sauce'. Now if the thought of veal and tuna doesn't sound the most appetising, you'd be very very wrong! It is quite unlike anything you've ever tasted before and I mean in a very good way. The tuna plays its part in creating a wonderful, umami hit in the rich, glossy mayonnaise-style sauce. Together with anchovies, it becomes a bright, glossy, salty flavour-bomb. It's the perfect match for the meaty, tender veal slices.
Vitello Tonnato is a Northern Italian dish, hailing from Piedmont. The dish traditionally uses veal, but tonnato sauce can also be paired with other meats like beef (veal is beef obviously), pork, poultry and lamb too. I would imagine it's great with fish too... And vegetables! I'll often have leftover sauce poured over hot boiled fingerling potatoes, which is an utter delight.
It's traditionally a summer dish, but in Argentina where it's hugely popular (thanks to Italian immigrants), 'Vitel tonnè' is a popular Christmas dish.