Until fairly recently, I didn’t know about bresaola. Well I knew about it but never thought that I might be missing out by not eating it. Now I think… what madness overtook me? All those years of missing out on wonderfully thin slices of salted air-dried beef. What was I thinking?!
Bresaola is not that easy to find. I get mine at a delicatessen at the Victoria market but I tried during the week at a couple of the local delis. They shook their head and offered capocollo or prosciutto…. “but they’re pork not beef” I muttered to myself, walking out of the shop. Interestingly I found a recipe for how to make your own bresaola at home through the SBS website – the link is here. I might give that a try one day since it is so hard to find and it doesn’t seem too complex to make (and a relative short curing time).
The flavours that work well with bresaola are parmigiano, lemon and rocket. Looking through the beautifully photographed “Polpo – A Venetian cookbook (of sorts)” by Russell Norman a few weeks back, I found this recipe for some cicheti (Venetian small plates to have with a drink) that had these very same ingredients. So I have been making these a LOT and eating them with an aperitif (usually an Aperol Spritz or with my current obsession, a Negroni) making up for not having eaten bresaola for the first half of my life!
Bresaola, rocket (arugula) and Parmesan cicheti
12 slices bresaola (thinly sliced)
12 long shavings of Parmesan cheese
Handful rocket (arugula) leaves
good quality extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
Lay out the slices of bresaola, putting several rocket leaves, a shaving of Parmesan and a good pinch of lemon zest on each. Fold/roll each slice of bresaola (securing with a toothpick if you like) and drizzle on some EVOO. These can be made several hours ahead and kept covered in the fridge.