Wood-Grilled Veal Chops with Tomato-Basil Salsa

Steven Raichlen's favorite way to prepare veal chops—a sumptuous cut of meat—involves searing them on the grill and topping them with a fresh tomato-basil salsa, a recipe from the Côte d'Azur. Oak is the best wood for grilling these chops. It is readily available, burns hot and imparts a lovely flavor.

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  • Servings: 4
KEY: Fall, Summer, Grilling/Barbecuing, Barbecue/Cookout, Dinner Party, Father's Day, American, French, Fast, Dinner

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Ingredients

veal
  • Four 3/4-pound veal rib chops
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped oregano
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
sauce
  • 2 tomatoes—peeled, seeded and diced
  • 20 basil leaves, slivered
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

How to make this recipe

  1. Set the veal chops in a large glass baking dish and add the olive oil, lemon juice and oregano. Season with salt and pepper and turn to coat. Let marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. In a glass or ceramic bowl, toss the tomatoes with the basil and garlic. Add the olive oil, lemon juice and vinegar and toss gently. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Light a grill, preferably using oak for fuel. Grill the chops over a medium-hot fire for 6 to 7 minutes per side for medium; rotate the chops 90 degrees after 3 minutes on each side for attractive grill marks. Transfer the chops to a platter and let stand for 2 minutes before spooning the sauce on top and serving.

Suggested Pairing

An elegant California Cabernet Sauvignon would have enough tannic edge to take on the salsa but plenty of fruity flavor to complement the chops.

Contributed By Photo © Amy Neunsinger Published June 1999

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