Piccata, when used in reference to a way of preparing food, means “sliced, sautéed, and served in a sauce containing lemon, butter, and spices, usually parsley.” The best known dish of this sort is sadly chicken piccata, but the term originated and is most commonly used (even more sadly), in Italy, with veal. Vegetarians and Vegans have adapted the recipe to be used with seitan and I am going to give yet another vegan option by using my tender Lentil Cutlets by making…
Lentil Piccata with Haricots Vert
4 Lentil Cutlets
Olive oil to coat the bottom of a cast iron pan
1/4 cup plant based milk
1 Tablespoon tapioca starch
1/3 cup all purpose flour
3 shallots, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/3 cup vegan Chardonnay
2 cups vegetable broth
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
pinch dried thyme
1/4 cup capers and a little of their brine
1/2 cup black olives, cut into halves
juice of a lemon
3 Tablespoons parsley, chopped
the greens of a scallion (at least 4 long sections)
1/2 pound fresh green beans, stem ends trimmed
4 servings of mashed potatoes
With the help of Jim, who did more than just make the mashed potatoes and save the zest from the lemon for future recipes, I pulled this all together rather quickly.
Set out 4 Lentil Cutlets beside 2 shallow bowls. Into the first, whisk the tapioca starch into the milk until smooth. Put the flour into the second bowl.
Coat the bottom of the skillet with olive oil and while it gets hot go back to the cutlets. Dip them into the starch and milk mixture then dredge both sidee with flour to coat. Add them to the pan and cook them until lightly browned, about 2 minutes on each side. Repeat with the other slices. Place cooked cutlets on a tray and cover to keep warm. Allow remaining oil in the skillet and slightly reduce the heat to make the sauce.
This is a good time to bring a pot of water to a boil to be ready with the scallion greens (soon) and green beans that will dive in at the very end of this recipe. Cover the pot and let it get to a boil.
Only add oil to the skillet if needed, otherwise use what was left from the cutlets to sauté the shallots and garlic for about 5 minutes. Keep returning to stir them so they do not start to burn.
During that 5 minutes, if the water is just boiling, put the scallion greens in for about a minute. This is just to make them less brittle and more flexible. Fish them out and place them into the wine to cool for a moment. Replace the lid and allow the water to continue to boil in readiness for the beans.
When the shallots and garlic are ready, remove the scallion greens from the wine and reserve them to the side as they drain. Pour the wine into the skillet and raise the heat to bring the sauce to a rolling boil. Add in the vegetable broth, salt, pepper, and thyme and return it to a rolling boil. Let the sauce reduce by half; it should take about 10 minutes. This is a good time to make sure your mashed potatoes are ready and being kept warm.
Add the capers, brine and olives to the sauce to heat through for about 3 minutes. At this point, add the beans to the boiling water. Let them cook for 2 minutes and strain.
Add the parsley and lemon juice to the sauce and turn off the heat.
Plate by making a pile of mashed potatoes just off center. Cut a Lentil Cutlet into about 4 strips length-wise and set onto the potatoes. Take 1/4 of the green beans and gather them together with all cut ends on the bottom and tie them together with a strand of the wilted scallion green. Place them, pointed ends facing up, into the mashed potatoes (see photo below). Ladle a generous portion of sauce over the cutlet and potatoes and serve immediately with glasses of the same Chardonnay as was used in the recipe.