Tomato-Vegetable Sauce for
Grilled Veal Chops and Polenta Squares
(Sauce is enough for 4)
This dish was inspired by having some succulent veal chops and pickled garlic in the
refrigerator. I bought the veal chops without having any recipe in mind. It's not
necessary to use exactly these ingredients. You can substitute fresh garlic and you can
even omit the meat and use the sauce over pasta. The sauce is the star of this
Make the polenta according to a standard recipe for hard polenta. When finished
cooking, spread it onto an oiled flat and shallow baking tin. Refrigerate until ready to
use (at least 1 hour). This sets the polenta so that it is easy to cut into squares.
- Sauté 1 large (or 2 small) chopped yellow onions in olive oil.
- Add 8 cloves pickled garlic coarsely chopped and cook for a few minutes. If pickled
garlic is not available, use 2 - 3 cloves fresh garlic and add
vinegar later (per instructions).
- Add about 1 cup of chopped celery and 1 cup of diced carrots. Cook about 15 minutes over
- Remove seeds from one 28-oz. can of whole Italian tomatoes while
holding them over a sieve and bowl, letting the sieve catch the seeds and bowl catch the
juices. Reserve the juice and discard the seeds.
- Coarsely chop the pulp and mix into juice. Add this to the pan and cook covered about 20
- Add a handful of chopped parsley and an equal amount of pitted, chopped green olives.
(If you didn't use pickled garlic, add about 2-3 TBS vinegar (or to taste) at this point.)
Cook over very slow flame, covered for about 30 minutes.
- Don't add salt and pepper until the very end, after the olives have cooked and given
their flavor to the sauce. The olives can be quite salty so you may not need to any salt.
Grilling the Meat and Polenta Squares:
- Season the veal cops with salt, pepper and Herbes de Provence. Set
aside until ready to cook.
- When all the other components for this dish are ready, grill the meat over mesquite or
in your broiler. A normal 1"-thick veal chop cooks surprising quickly. Watch it
closely to avoid overcooking. It will take about 4-5 minutes per side. Remove from heat
and let the chops stand for a few minutes to allow the juices to retract into the meat.
- While the chops are resting, cut the polenta into 2" squares. Brush each side with
olive oil infused with garlic and grill quickly.
Divide the tomato-vegetable sauce into warm bouillabaisse bowls, place a grilled veal
chop on top of the sauce and arrange 3-4 polenta squares around the chop. Garnish with a
sprig of parsley if you're in the mood to dress up the presentation.