Fried Calf's Liver with Onion-and-Tomato Salad
- TOTAL TIME: 25 MIN
- SERVINGS: 4
At his restaurant Asmali Cavit, where this dish is a specialty of the house, Cavit Saatci treats liver the way many chefs treat fish: He buys it daily, seasons it simply with salt and pepper and then fries it quickly before topping it with a little bit of chopped chile and herbs. Instead of serving the liver with sautéed onions—a classic preparation in Europe and England—Saatci offers a fresh-flavored tomato-and-raw-onion salad as an accompaniment.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced crosswise
- 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
- Four 4-ounce slices of calf or lamb liver (sliced 1/3 inch thick)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons chopped thyme
- 1 small, fresh, hot red chile, minced
- In a small bowl, combine the olive oil with the lemon juice. Season the dressing with salt and pepper. On one half of a serving platter, season the onion and tomato slices with salt and pepper and add the parsley. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the lemon dressing on top and toss lightly.
- Season the liver slices with salt and pepper. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the vegetable oil until shimmering. Add the liver and cook over high heat until browned, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderate and continue cooking for 1 minute longer. Turn the liver slices and cook until rosy in the center, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer the liver to the platter with the tomato salad and drizzle with the remaining lemon dressing. Sprinkle the liver with the chopped thyme and minced chile and serve right away.
Iron-rich liver has very intense, earthy flavors, which are best matched by a bold but juicy red wine. Look for a concentrated, berry-rich Nero d’Avola from Sicily.