If the contorno of lightly sautéed cherry tomatoes seems like too much trouble to do at the last minute, or if you find yourself without beautiful cherry tomatoes, these spinach-topped veal chops still make a lovely dish. Serve the chops with mashed potatoes.
- 6 loin veal chops, each 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick and about 12 ounces
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 7 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 1 pound spinach leaves (from about 1 ½ pounds spinach with stems), tough stems removed, thoroughly washed and drained
- 1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- 1 pint red or yellow cherry tomatoes, stemmed and cut in half
- 4 fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips
Prepare a charcoal grill or heat two large grill pans or cast iron pans over medium heat 10 minutes.
Pat the veal chops dry with paper towels and season them generously with salt and pepper. Rub 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over the chops. Grill the veal chops, turning once, until both sides are well-marked and just a slight trace of pink remains in the thickest part of the chop near the bone, 15 to 18 minutes, depending on the heat of the grill and the thickness of the chop. Transfer the chops to a broiler pan sturdy baking pan. Preheat the broiler.
Divide 3 tablespoons olive oil between two large, heavy skillets. Add one garlic clove to each skillet and heat over medium heat. Cook until golden, about 3 minutes. Add half the spinach to each skillet and season very lightly with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the spinach is wilted and tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. (Alternatively, the spinach may be prepared in one skillet in two batches.) Drain the liquid from the spinach pans and remove the garlic cloves. Divide the spinach evenly over the veal chops. Sprinkle the spinach with the grated cheese.
In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the remaining 2 cloves of garlic and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and basil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing the tomatoes in the skillet, just until wilted, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and remove the garlic cloves. Cover the skillet and remove it from the heat to keep the tomatoes warm.
Broil the chops until the cheese is lightly browned and crisp, about 3 minutes. (If a broiler is not available, set the baking pan in a 475 F oven about 5 minutes.) Transfer the veal chops to plates. Spoon the tomatoes alongside the veal chops and serve hot.