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Bresaola and Cheese Platter

Bresaola Platter

Bresaola Platter – Afternoon Meal

I love a good delicatessen and grew up understanding the importance of having one that your family visits regularly.  In Italy delicatessens are called gastronomia, negozio di specialità gastronomiche, bottega alimentare and salumeria.

My grandparents owned a grocerette (small family owned grocery store like a bodega) until they retired. My father grew up in this world and was my guide. As a kid it was fun to go to the deli with him. We would taste all kinds of items and make decisions on what to get and how much we wanted. My father knew Mr. Peri – who owned Sam Peri’s Delicatessen. A trip to Peri’s would yelled the best meats, cheeses, olives, sardines, and breadsticks you could imagine. It made for a fantastic afternoon meal.

To this day when I walk into an Italian deli and see all of the correct cuts of meat and slices of cured meats and all the cheeses, I am honestly like a kid in a candy store. It’s another language and I feel like I am understood through layers of meat, cheese, olives, and bottles of wine. It feels like home.

I think most everyone at this point is familiar with prosciutto (pruh·SHOO·tow) and pancetta. But there is another cured meat to consider- bresaola (breh.ZAH.oh.lah)! Bresaola is a thinly sliced Italian cured meat. It’s a lean cut of beef that is is salted and air-dried.

Bresaola can be served simple with fresh arugula, a squeeze of lemon juice, a touch of olive oil, and a pinch of salt – perfect for an afternoon meal. I decided to dress this one up with sliced oranges, tomatoes, and nuts. Recipe below!

What you need:
16 slices Bresaola
1 bag (container) Arugula
1 Lemon
1 Orange
10 Tomatoes (small, sliced in halves)
1/4 cup Hazelnuts
Parmesan Reggiano shavings
Salt and Pepper to taste

Assemble:
1. Arrange arugula and bresaola on serving platter or on individual dishes.
2. Add cherry tomatoes, hazelnuts, and drizzle with olive oil.
3. Sprinkle with juice from the lemon and season with salt and black pepper.
4. Add shavings of Parmigiano cheese and slices of oranges.
5. Serve with rustic Italian bread.

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