August 2, 2023

Tomato Tonnato

Recipe: Janice Tiefenbach, Stephanie Mercier Voyer, Ryan Gray and Marley Sniatowsky

“When we decided to write this book, our first thought was, “You know what the world needs right now? Another take on vitello tonnato!” Just kidding—nobody needs another version of this classic Piedmontese dish. But because tomato season is so special and because Ryan’s and Steph’s moms really loved this version, in which savory beefsteak tomatoes play the part of thinly sliced veal, we just had to include it in here.” – Salad Pizza Wine


Seasoned Breadcrumbs (batch)

  • ½ loaf sourdough bread (about 11 oz.)
  • ½ cup grated parmesan
  • ½ tbsp garlic powder
  • ¾ tsp mustard powder
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Tonnato (batch)

  • 10 oil-packed anchovy fillets, drained
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tbsp white wine, divided
  • 2 (5.6 oz.) cans oil-packed tuna, drained
  • 3 tsp capers, rinsed and drained
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Fried Capers

  • ½ cup capers, rinsed and drained
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil

Tomato Tonnato Salad

  • 4 large heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Flaky sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup Seasoned Breadcrumbs (see above)
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives
  • 1 cup Tonnato (see above)
  • A few fresh dill flowers or sprigs


Yield: Serves 4

Make Seasoned Breadcrumbs

  1. Toast bread: Preheat oven to 250°F. Trim off any thick part of crust and cut bread into 1-inch cubes. Spread cubes on baking sheet in single layer and bake until completely dry, but not browned, about 1 hour. Don’t worry, it’s OK if pieces take on tiny bit of color. Cool fully, then place in food processor and pulse into crumbs. You want crumbs to be roughly same size—small, but not powdery.
  2. Add seasoning: In medium bowl, toss to combine pulsed breadcrumbs, parmesan, garlic powder, mustard powder, salt and pepper. Store in airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Make Tonnato

  1. In blender, combine anchovies, garlic, mustard, lemon juice, egg yolks, half of olive oil and half of white wine. Pulse until smooth. Add tuna, capers, salt, pepper and remaining olive oil and white wine. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning with more lemon juice, salt and pepper. Tonnato will keep in fridge for up to 1 week.

Fry Capers

  1. Pat and dry capers. In frying pan, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Check to see if oil is hot enough by adding single caper—if it sizzles, it’s ready to go.
  2. Add capers to pan and fry until they crisp up and start to look like crystals, about 5 minutes. You’ll notice capers change color and open as they cook. Reduce heat as necessary to avoid burning. Transfer capers onto paper towel–lined baking sheet to absorb excess oil.

Assemble Salad

  1. Spread tomatoes evenly onto large plate. Add lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Top with seasoned breadcrumbs, chives and crispy capers. Add few dollops of tonnato and finish with dill flowers or sprigs.

Dominique Lafond


Excerpted from Salad Pizza Wine by Janice Tiefenbach, Stephanie Mercier Voyer, Ryan Gray and Marley Sniatowsky. © 2023 Janice Tiefenbach, Stephanie Mercier Voyer, Ryan Gray, and Marley Sniatowsky. Photographs by Dominique Lafond. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved