Vitello tonnato di Marta Grassi
Vitello tonnato is a classic piedmontese dish, but it is still being reinterpreted. Like this elegant version invented by Marta Grassi from restaurant Tantris in Novara.
Restaurant Tantris on the outskirts of the Piedmont town Novara is a treat. The chef Marta Grassi has an eminent ability to combine simplicity and sophistication in taste and in the visual presentation of the dish, and you get up from the table after dinner feeling happy and utterly spoiled.
Marta Grassi’s version of vitello tonnato is inspired by an urban landscape with high buildings, bright colours and tiny green fields. The buildings are slices of rosa veal wrapped around tuna sauce with green sprouts on top. We thought the green was a specially imported type of cress, but Marta Grassi said it was mixed salad sprouts she herself grew in the back garden. The plate was decorated with bright red, yellow and orange dots and a line of light brown sauce. It tasted delicious, but I haven’t been able to figure out what it was or how to reproduce a dressing in those colours.
In other words, my version of this modernized antipasto is a lot simpler than the original. But it is still good, and it does not belittle the pleasure of a real visit to the kitchen of Marta Grassi at Tantris in Novara.
For the meat
500 g veal roast
100 ml white wine
Fresh parsley and sage
Tiny sprouts of radicchio, green salad or beets
For the tuna sauce
2 egg yolks
50 ml olive oil
1 can of tuna in olive oil
1 tbsp capers
Lemon juice and a little broth from the veal