Recipe – Bresaola Salad

I fell in love with bresaola when I was researching A Lombardian Cookbook in Italy with Alessandro Pavoni. A specialty of Lombardy, bresaola is salt-cured beef eye round that’s dried in the crisp Alpine air. Virtually identical to Swiss Bündnerfleisch (Viande des Grisons) from just across the border in the canton of Graubünden, it has a beautiful deep red colour. It’s best kept raw and served simply and is also similar to Middle Eastern bastourma, which is what inspired this bresaola salad. Add some crusty bread and a glass of Grey Sands rosé and I’m in heaven.

Serves 4 as an entrée

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon dukkah
  • 160g thinly sliced bresaola
    (about 24 thin slices – see below)
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 2 cups watercress sprigs
  • ¼ cup finely sliced celery heart

Pomegranate Dressing

  • 1 teaspoon salt flakes
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Salumi Australia makes an excellent bresaola.

  1. Make Pomegranate Dressing: dissolve salt in lemon juice in a screw-top jar, add remaining Ingredients and shake to emulsify. Set aside.
  2. Boil eggs for 3 minutes, crack all over with a teaspoon and put into cold water for a few minutes.
  3. Carefully peel under gently running cold water.
  4. Roll in dukkah to coat well, then set aside.
  5. Arrange bresaola on plates in a circle and drizzle with a little oil.
  6. Toss watercress and celery with Pomegranate Dressing and mound in the centre of the bresaola.
  7. Cut eggs in half and nestle them into the centre of the watercress, cut side up.
  8. Sprinkle with a little extra dukkah and serve.

What is bresaola?
Bresaola is a specialty of the northern Italian region of Lombardy. It’s salt-cured beef that’s dried in the crisp Alpine air. Virtually identical to Swiss bündnerfleisch (viande des grisons) from just across the border in the canton of Graubünden and Middle Eastern bastourma it has a beautiful deep red colour.
Where does bresaola come from?
Bresaola is traditionally made in Valtellina, an Alpine valley that in the region of Lombardy.
Is bresaola the same as Swiss Bündnerfleisch (Viande des Grisons)?
Yes, they are very similar. Valtellina, the home of Italian bresaola, borders the Swiss canton of Graubünden (Grisons), and was even part of it at one time. Many similar foods appear on both sides of the border, including air-dried beef, which is called Bündnerfleisch (or Viande des Grisons) in Switzerland.
Is bresaola similar to bastourma?
Yes. Curing and air-drying meat is also popular in the Middle East, where it’s called bastourma, basturma, basdırma, basterma, pastırma or pastourma. The main difference is the spices used to flavour it.
What’s the best way to peel soft boiled eggs?
Peeling soft boiled eggs without damaging them can be tricky. I find the best way is to tap them all over with a spoon to crack the shell, put them into a bowl of cold water for a few minutes and then carefully peel them under gently running water. If you end up with a few pock marks, it doesn’t matter in this dish as the dukkah hides them!
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