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Crisp Veal Sweetbreads with Pantellerian Capers and Ligurian Olive Oil
Chef Holly Smith of Cafe Juanita - Kirkland, WA
Adapted by StarChefs

Yield: 4 Servings


  • 1 ½ pounds veal sweetbreads
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2-3 ounces virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup Ligurian olive oil
  • ½ cup salted capers, soaked, drained and squeezed dry
  • ¼ pound butter
  • Salt and cracked black peppercorns, to taste


Soak sweetbreads in clean cold water in refrigerator. Soak 24 hours, changing water every 4-6 hours.

In saucepan, cover soaked sweetbreads in fresh cold water and add kosher salt and lemon juice. Bring to just a simmer over medium high heat. Remove from stovetop. Allow sweetbreads to sit in water 2 minutes. Line sheet tray with clean kitchen towels. Move sweetbreads to lined sheet tray, cover with clean kitchen towels and top with second sheet tray. Weigh trays down with 8 pounds, evenly distributed. Refrigerate 12 hours.

Remove clingy membrane and retain larger pieces. Divide into 4 equal pieces. Preheat oven to 450°F. Heat heavy sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add virgin olive oil to pan. Generously season sweetbreads with salt and pepper. Lightly dust with flour on one side only. Lay sweetbreads floured side down in hot oil. Cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add butter, cook 1 minute more. Move pan into hot oven. Roast sweetbreads 4-5 minutes. Bring back to stovetop to brown if needed. Turn over, brown well on other side. Heat another medium pan over high heat. Add ½ cup Ligurian oil, 20-30 leaves of Italian flat leaf parsley and drained capers. Lightly fry until bloomed and crisp. Drain on paper towels.

Once sweetbreads are done transfer to plates. Drizzle capers and fried parsley sauce on sweetbreads. Sauce plate with Ligurian olive oil.

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