This recipe is from La Cucina Italiana, my favorite cooking magazine. It is spring on a place – asparagus and veal what could be better? It is easy enough for a fancy dinner on a weeknight.
1½ lbs asparagus, trimmed
2 TBSP olive oil
2 TBSP grated Grana Padano
1 TBSP chopped thyme
8 veal medallions, about 3 ounces each
1 TBSP butter
½ c half and half
1 TBSP white wine vinegar
Preheat oven to 375°.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and the asparagus, and cook for 4 minutes. Drain and plunge into a bowl of ice water. When cool, drain the asparagus, and let dry. Roughly chop all but 10 asparagus spears. Place half of the chopped asparagus in a bowl, and add the olive oil, Grana Padano and thyme. Season with salt and pepper, and mix well.
Place 4 veal medallions on a baking sheet lined with buttered parchment paper, and season with salt and pepper. Spoon some of the asparagus mixture over the veal. Top with the remaining veal medallions, sandwiching the filling in between. Tie the two pieces of veal together with butcher’s string, or secure with metal skewers. Season the tops with salt and pepper, and dot each one with butter. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the veal is cooked through.
Meanwhile, place the remaining chopped asparagus in a blender or food processor. Add the half and half and vinegar, season with salt and pepper. Purée until smooth, and set aside.
Dice the remaining asparagus.
Remove the veal from the oven, and arrange on individual plates. Spoon the asparagus purée around, and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. Garnish with the diced asparagus, and serve.