Do you drastically change what you eat and perhaps, how you eat, depending on the seasons? What else affects meal preparations and planning? Holidays certainly, work, maybe? Exams? House move?
Well, I think summertime does tend to mean a little lighter for me generally, it’s so wonderful to be able to enjoy all the fresh, delightful fruit and vegetables this time of year. So the recipes tend to get shorter and easier too. However, at this point in time, there is one big factor that’s going to be shaping what we eat and and what recipes I post.
You see, our house has just been sold after 2 years on the market and we are taking this opportunity to do a bit of travelling! Yep, I can’t wait! First stop – Kuala Lumpur, capital of Malaysia, for a whole month. You might or might not know this but I have a lot of family in Singapore and Malaysia. We have a wedding on the 21st of August, the bride, whom I used to babysit all the time, is my older sister’s daughter. She is now a doctor in Melbourne and in keeping with the whole extended family’s tradition of marrying outside of our cultural comfort zone, is marrying a Frenchman! Fabulous! Don’t have one of those in the bloodlines yet!
So, we have started sorting, giving, throwing, selling and packing! It’s a lot of work but also a whole lot of fun and isn’t decluttering soul cleansing? Now I’m sure you’ll be hearing more about it as we go along, so I shall pause from the travel chat and focus on the task at hand.
Bresaola. Don’t you just adore its full flavoured, meaty, musty flavour? I love eating it as it is, in sandwiches, in risottos, in salads and pasta dishes. Carbohydrates at lunch time really saps my energy and leaves me with no will to do anything! So, about 2-3 times a week when I have a full afternoon planned, this is the sort of lunch I make – salad with extra helpings of cured meat and some, ok, loads of cheese. The conservative parmesan shavings are only for picture taking purposes!
Bresaola or brisaola is air dried, salted beef that’s usually been hung/aged for a few months. Where does bresaola come from? It originally hails from north Lombardy, in the Alps, close to Switzerland. The best bresaola is to be found there, in Valtellina, allegedly! I’ll have to test that theory out sometime soon and let y’all know! It owes its existence to the need to preserve excess meat.
Bresaola traditionally flavoured with juniper and rosemary, although if you attempt to make it at home, that is completely up to you. I quite enjoy curing my own meat for that purpose and bresaola is no different – one of these days, I’ll share my butcher’s method with you! The one you see in these pictures was shop bought though, ordered online from Natoora – because my butcher is closed for 2 weeks – I quite enjoy their local, seasonal and artisanal products, having discovered them through Ocado.
Today’s post doesn’t really come with a recipe but more an idea and suggested serving. But I tell you, when you serve it up as a salad, it makes a fantastic carb free meal – perfect for lunch!
If you have tasted bresaola in Lombardy or if you have interesting ways with bresaola, I’d love to hear about it.
The timings and servings given are for the salad.
- 5 layers of bresaola
- slices of tomato
- rocket/arugula leaves
- handful basil leaves
- parmesan shavings
- freshly ground pepper
- drizzle of olive oil flavoured with some basil & garlic (see notes below)
- In a pestle and mortar, crush 1 small clove of garlic, a couple of basil leaves and a pinch of salt.
- some small skewers, cocktail sticks or rosemary sticks
- marinated cheese, like feta, mozzarella balls or mini boursin
- pickled jalapeños
- cherry tomatoes
- basil leaves
- Arrange the bresaola slices on a plate, folding them a little over on themselves.
- Follow with tomatoes.
- Scatter a few rocket leaves and basil leaves all over.
- Drop a few parmesan shavings, as many or as little as you like.
- Drizzle olive oil all over.
- Top with freshly ground black pepper.
- Thread the ingredients through your cocktail sticks as you wish. I like to have the cheese on all of them because I love cheese!
- You could also drizzle some olive oil on them after if you like.