Ottolenghi’s Tonnato Sauce Served on Grilled Treviso

Ottolenghi's Tonnato Sauce

Tonnato is an elegant Italian aioli made with canned tuna, anchovies, and lemon. It’s typically seen as a condiment for lean meat. The idea of combining meat and tuna sauce might sound odd, but it works well – very well. Traditionally, Piemonte tonnato (tonnè) is served with veal, but if you skim the pages of Italian-inspired modern cookbooks you’ll find tonnato served with all sorts of things. Even potato chips. It’s rather beloved among cookbook authors with household names. In most hands, it’s a humble beige color that packs a lot of flavor into an unassuming package. However, when Yotam Ottolenghi imagines tonnato sauce he sees, shall we say, greener pastures. His version packs a big handful of parsley which gives the sauce a delightful spring-green hue.

Lately, many of the aforementioned famous culinary faces are pairing tonnato with vegetables, which is also Ottolenghi’s preference. In the recipe I lifted this sauce from it’s drizzled on a baked potato and topped with a soft-boiled egg. It’s from his cookbook Simple and the combination is simply a winner. I know, I’ve tried it. Other vegetables would work too. “Tomato tonnato” has an especially nice ring to it and is another natural fit. Serving it with slices of tomato topped with salty little caper bullets makes a sumptuous summer salad. Vinny Dotolo of the Los Angeles restaurant Jon & Vinny’s has served it spooned over wood-grilled shishito peppers garnished with sesame seeds.

Grilled Treviso with Tonnato Sauce 

But I chose radicchio di Treviso, a vibrant reddish-purple member of the chicory family similar to regular radicchio. However, rather than looking like tight little fists, Treviso is missile-shaped. Sort of like a gawky overgrown adolescent Belgian endive.

As a former gawky adolescent, how could I not love Treviso? Sadly, I don’t come across it very often in the markets in my neighborhood. So when I see it, I grab it and I grill it. Once grilled, Treviso loses a little of the bitterness that some people find challenging about chicories. A wedge drizzled with Ottolenghi’s tonnato sauce makes a great starter. GREG

Grilled Treviso with Tonnato Sauce

Grilled Treviso with Tonnato Sauce and Potatoes 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 4–8Published
Grilled Treviso with Tonnato Sauce and Potatoes


  • 4 heads fresh Treviso (stem end trimmed)
  • olive oil (as needed)
  • salt and pepper (as needed)
  • tonnato sauce (to taste, see recipe https://​www​.sippitysup​.com/​r​e​c​i​p​e​/​o​t​t​o​l​e​n​g​h​i​s​-​t​o​n​n​a​t​o​-​s​a​u​ce/)
  • 16–24 tiny new potatoes (or about 4 potatoes per serving, boiled and halved)
  • capers (rinsed and drained)
  • minced chives


Prepare the grill or stovetop grill pan to medium-high heat.

Remove any discolored or wilted leaves from the Treviso, cut in half lengthwise. Place the Treviso halves onto a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil to coat all sides and in between some of the leaves. Season generously with salt and black pepper.

Move the Treviso onto the grill, cut side down, and cook until wilted and charred, about 3 minutes. Turn each piece over and grill another 2 or 3 minutes. Remove from grill.

Arrange the Treviso and tiny boiled potatoes on a platter, spoon tonnato sauce evenly over the top and sprinkle with capers and chives. Serve warm.

Ottolenghi’s Tonnato Sauce 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield about 1 2/3 cupSource Yotam OttolenghiPublished
Ottolenghi's Tonnato Sauce


  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley (roughly chopped, about 20 grams)
  • 1 (4 ½ oz) can tuna in oil
  • 1 tablespoon capers (rinsed and drained)
  • 2 oil-packed anchovy filets (rinsed and patted dry)
  • 1 clove garlic (peeled and crushed)
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


Place the egg yolks in the bowl of a food processor along with lemon juice, parsley, tuna, capers, anchovies, and garlic. Blitz for a minute to form a rough paste, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed. With the machine running, slowly add the oil in a slow, steady stream, until the consistency is that of a thin mayonnaise. Set aside.