Every cuisine has its secret. For Italian cuisine it’s simplicity: fresh, quality ingredients, perfectly paired to produce terrific tastes. The conservatism of the Italians when it comes to food can be quite frustrating, but there are really some dishes which cannot be bettered, so why tinker?
One such dish is bresaola, rucola, parmigiano, blood-red slices of cured beef from the Valtellina, served with fresh rocket, and shavings of parmesan cheese. Bresaola is made with beef leg, which is coated in a mixture of spices and air dried for a few months during which time it reduces to 60% of its original weight. It has a melt-in-the-mouth texture and tastes slightly of cinammon. Moistened in extra-virgin olive oil and paired with cheese it produces a classic umami flavour that is difficult to resist.
This is the classic recipe to which I have added a balsamic dressing and sundried tomato to build on the existing umami punch. And in the heat of a Tuscan June, the cheese, oil, and beef start to cook on your plate. Since when has a salad been real comfort food?
This is the first in a series of quick and easy lunch recipes which are quick to prepare and difficult not to eat even more quickly. Buon appetito!
Insalata di bresaola
Preparation time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 0 mins
Total time: 5 mins
5 slices of bresaola
a fistful of fresh rocket (arugula)
3 tablespoons grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
a pinch of salt
one whole sundried tomato
three large capers
1. Lay the slices of bresaola on a plate.
2. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with the parmigiano reggiano.
3. Place the rocket on the top.
4. Mix the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt to make a dressing. Pour over the rocket.
5. Place the sundried tomato and capers on top and serve.