Mediterranean-Inspired Veal Pattie Pockets

Thinking outside the box for a good plan to use up a couple of ground veal patties, I concocted this Veal Pattie Pita Pockets with Olive Red Pepper Tapenade. And as a side, I paired them with this Celery Root Salad with Celery, Flat-Leaf Parsley and Capers found in a recent issue of Fine Cooking Magazine. The meal is quick, and there’s not a lot of prep.

One multi-grain pita pocket split in two afforded the perfect bed to nestle in the tapenade and veal patty. For a soft warm pita, first wrap the pocket in foil and heat in a 325° oven for about 15 minutes.

Consider it a hearty lunch or an evening meal, either way it’s a tasty diversion from the norm.

Mediterranean-Inspired Veal Pattie Pockets

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 ground veal patties, about 7 oz. each
  • 1 Tbsp. Adobo Seco seasoning divided (optional)
  • 1 whole grain pita pocket, split in two

Olive Roasted Red Pepper Tapenade (Yields about 1 cup, 10 min)

  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. capers
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp. freshthyme
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 325°. When temperature is reached, insert foil-wrapped pita pocket for 15 minutes, remove from oven and keep wrapped until veal patties are ready.
  2. Heat olive oil in a medium-sized nonstick skillet over med-high heat. Sprinkle each patty all over with Adobo Seco seasoning (if using), or simply salt and pepper.
  3. When skillet is hot, add the two veal patties and cook without disturbing for 5-6 minutes.
  4. Turn the patties over, cover the skillet and cook another 5-6 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 135°-140°F.
  5. Meanwhile, process all of the tapenade ingredients in a food processor, pulsing just until finely chopped, but not at paste consistency. Taste, and adjust seasonings to taste.
  6. Spread a couple tablespoons of tapenade into each warm pita pocket and insert veal patty. Serve with a side of Celery Root Salad with Celery, Flat-Leaf Parsley and Capers (recipe follows).

Celery Root Salad with Celery, Flat-Leaf Parsley and Capers

A hearty salad made with celery root—that peculiar-looking hairy knob. All gnarly and off-putting, it’s amazing how good it can be both cooked as in our Celery Root Purée, or raw as julienned in this recipe. We loved it and enjoyed the leftovers for several days in a row.

Celery Root Salad with Celery, Flat-Leaf Parsley and Capers

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


For the Dressing

  • 1/3 cup white-wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the Salad

  • 1 large celery root (about 1 1/4 lb.)
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced celery
  • 1 cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup capers, rinsed and blotted dry


Make the Dressing

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and the sugar. In a thin steady stream, whisk in the olive oil until incoporated. Set aside.

Make the Salad

  1. Use a sharp knife to cut off the gnarly base of the celery root, and cut a thin slice off the top.
  2. Use a paring knife to remove the thick outer peel. Slice in half vertically and julienne-cut on a mandoline into matchsticks and immediately add to the dressing, tossing to coat thoroughly to prevent browning.
  3. Add the celery, parsley, and capers to the bowl and mix well. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 45 minutes to allow flavors to blend.

TIP: The salad can be prepared up to 1 day ahead. Cover the bowl and store in the refrigerator until about 45 minutes before serving.

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