Veal Milanese with Arugula, Tomato, and Red Onion Salad

Veal Milanese with Arugula Tomato and Red Onion Salad
Veal Milanese with Arugula Tomato and Red Onion Salad
This image courtesy of Cookstr

Editor's Note: The next time you want to plan a meal with that special someone in your life, don't make reservations at a fancy restaurant. With this recipe for Veal Milanese with Arugula, Tomato, and Red Onion Salad, you can impress your partner with your cooking skills. This veal Milanese recipe, which can be made with chicken or pork, is the perfect option for a date night at home. If this is your first time making cooking with veal, then consider taking a look at the notes below from the recipe's author. Keep this elegant Italian recipe in mind the next time you want to try something special for dinner.

After I made my big move to Boston, I put this on my first menu at Café Louis and people just went crazy for it. The year was 1995, and my guests said I must be a genius or something to have come up with it, where did I get the inspiration? I did not have the heart to tell them that Veal Milanese was on just about every menu in every Italian restaurant in New York City. It is funny how different cities seem to latch onto different dishes. How could something so popular and common in New York be virtually nonexistent in a city just 180 miles north? Ah, let 'em think I made it up…

This recipe also works well with chicken breast or loin of pork.

Makes2 lunch or dinner portions

Cooking MethodPan-frying


OccasionCooking for a date

Recipe CourseMain Course

MealDinner, Lunch

Taste and TextureCrisp, Herby, Savory, Tart

Type of DishMain Course Salad


  • 1 cup flour
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup finely ground bread crumbs (preferably panko)
  • 1 pinch fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1 pinch fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 5-ounce pieces boneless veal loin, pounded very thin, about ¼-inch thick
  • 4 ounces (½ cup) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large bunch arugula, rinsed and dried
  • 1 bunch frisée, rinsed and dried (if you cannot find frisée, double the amount of arugula)
  • 1 ripe plum tomato, cut into small dice
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 ounces (½ cup) extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. See Notes below for how to pound veal (or chicken or steak or pork) into cutlets.
    For the veal:

  2. Place the flour in a shallow pan and season with salt and pepper. Lightly beat the eggs and water in another shallow pan and season with salt and pepper. Combine the bread crumbs, thyme, and rosemary in a third shallow pan and season with salt and pepper.

  3. Arrange the flour, egg wash, and bread crumb pans in a line in front of you, and have a clean platter or pan ready to hold the dredged veal. Working with one piece at a time, season the veal with salt and pepper. Dip the cutlet in the flour, shaking off any excess, then in the egg wash, allowing the excess egg to drain back into the pan. Finally, dip the cutlet in the bread crumbs, pressing gently to coat evenly, and place on the clean platter or pan.

  4. Refrigerate for at least one hour, or up to six hours.

  5. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. If your pan is not large enough for both pieces of veal, use two pans and divide the olive oil between them.

  6. When the oil is hot, add the veal and cook about 3 minutes per side, shaking the pan back and forth every 30 seconds or so to create a crisp, golden brown crust.

  7. Transfer the veal to a plate lined with several layers of paper towels to soak up any excess oil, and season with salt and pepper.

    For the salad:

  8. Combine the arugula, frisée, tomato, and onion in a mixing bowl. Toss the salad with the olive oil, the juice of half the lemon, salt, and pepper.
    To serve:

  9. Place the veal in the center of two plates, top with the salad, drizzle with the remaining lemon juice, and serve.


To Pound Veal or Chicken or Steak or Pork Into Cutlets:

Of all the noises in a busy restaurant kitchen, nothing is more certain to drive me up the wall than the sound of meat being pounded into thin cutlets. I always try to have the morning prep crews take care of this task before I get to work so I won’t have to listen to the constant bang-bang-bang of the mallet smashing meat on the cutting board. But, oh, the results are so worth it.

To be able to enjoy perfect veal or chicken Milanese, or grilled paillards of lamb, venison, or steak, you have to give the meat a good old-fashioned beating to make it tender and thin for quick, even cooking.

Place a slice of meat between two sheets of plastic wrap on the work surface. Using a mallet, pound the meat to an even thickness, about ¼ inch. Go ahead and take your aggressions out, but don’t get too rough or the meat will tear. The plastic wrap makes cleanup easier, and the finished product will have a smooth professional look.

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I have never been that into veal, but that is quickly changing. I love the flavors of the arugula when eaten with a bite of the tender veal. This is going to be a new go-to dinner for the family!


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