Seitan Scaloppine with Lemon-Olive Sauce

I used Imagine Foods’ No-Chicken Broth to mimic the taste of chicken, but any vegetable broth may be used.

1 cup vital wheat gluten
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon basil
3/4 cup Imagine No-Chicken Broth (or other vegetable broth)
2 tablespoons tahini or cashew butter

1 tablespoon unbleached flour
1 lemon, sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed slightly
10 green olives, pitted and sliced
1 1/4 cups No-Chicken Broth
2-3 tablespoons white wine or vermouth
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley
salt and pepper
additional vegetable broth, as necessary

Tear off 4 pieces of aluminum foil about 10 inches long. (See tips below for a foil-free way of making the scaloppine). Begin heating water in a steamer.

In a large bowl, mix the vital wheat gluten with the nutritional yeast, onion powder, salt, and basil. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the broth and tahini (or cashew butter). Stir the wet mixture into the dry until well blended. Knead gently 10 times. Quickly divide dough into 4 equal pieces.

Take a piece of dough and shape and flatten it into a thin oval cutlet. Place it on a sheet of foil, a little higher than center. Fold the bottom of the foil over to meet the top, and then fold the two edges over about 1/2 inch to form a seam. Continue folding the foil by half inches until it reaches just above the cutlet. Flatten the cutlet down a little more, and then fold the left and right edges in the same way until the packet is snug around the cutlet. Repeat with all pieces of dough.

Place the packets flat into the steamer and cover. Steam for 25 minutes. Keep packets sealed until you’re ready to use them.

Spray a non-stick skillet (or some other non-iron skillet) with olive oil. Begin heating it as you prepare a plate containing the flour sprinkled with a little salt and pepper. Once the skillet is hot, unwrap each cutlet and lightly dredge each side in the flour and then place in the skillet. Cook until brown and then turn over and brown other side. Remove to a plate.

(If you’d rather not use any oil at all, skip the flouring of the cutlets and just brown them alone. Your sauce may not thicken unless you add a little flour to it later.)

Add the garlic and lemon slices to the pan. Cook until the lemon slices have softened, 2-3 minutes, and then remove them from the pan, leaving the garlic. Add the olives, broth, wine, and lemon juice and cook on medium heat until the liquid starts to reduce. Remove the garlic, add salt and pepper to taste, and return the cutlets to the pan. Turn them over to coat with the sauce. Simmer briefly to warm them through, and if the sauce becomes too thick, add a little broth to thin. Stir in the parsley, and remove the cutlets to plates. Spoon some sauce over each cutlet and garnish with lemon slices.

Tips for Moister Cutlets:

I found two different tricks that resulted in a cutlet that was a little moister. Unfortunately, one of them requires an extra step, simmering the seitan in broth for a few minutes after it comes out of the steamer. If you’d like to do this, just put the cutlets in a skillet, add broth to about halfway over them, and simmer, turning, for 3-5 minutes. The cutlets will absorb a lot of the broth, so be ready to add more as necessary. Once they’re done, remove them from the broth and proceed with the recipe.

No extra step is required for the other technique; in fact, it’s simpler than the original recipe, though you will need a large steamer and plates that will fit inside it. Instead of wrapping the cutlets in foil, place them on the largest plate that will fit in your steamer. (If you have a double-level steamer, you can place two cutlets on smaller plates on each level.) Cover with an inverted plate of the same size, to keep water from dripping directly onto your cutlets. Steam for 25 minutes. Your cutlets will be a little lighter in color but will have a moister texture. This is my preferred way of making these cutlets!

Makes 4 servings.