This easy bresaola and arugula salad is a lunch-time favorite and one my husband and I were introduced to in Italy. I use this salad often when entertaining because it makes for a filling and easy meal and allows me to focus on being with friends and family rather than cooking.
We were lucky enough to spend 5 weeks in Northern Italy in 2014 where we tried to really immerse ourselves in local ways — especially in the local ways of eating. We found that the people we met with kick-start the day with an Espresso (of course) or if they had a little more time, a cappuccino (which is only drunk at breakfast). If they’re feeling super indulgent and have time to spare, then a cornetto — a pastry resembling a croissant–would accompany said espresso or cappuccino. Weekday lunches tended to be quick – none of our friends were taking extended lunches. They’d either have a panini or the iconic bresaola and arugula salad with shaved parmesan — a dish we quickly became totally addicted to.
Bresaola is an amazing cured meat made from beef and according to good-old Wikipedia, it originated in Valtellina, a valley in Norther Italy’s Lombardy region. It’s air-dried and salted beef that’s aged for two or three months until it hardens. During the curing process the meat becomes this gorgeous dark red almost purplish color. Bresaola is sliced paper thin and it’s best to have your local deli slice it for you unless you have a meat slicer.
Bresaola is gaining in popularity here in the US but can still be hard to find. I’ve seen it at Whole Foods sporadically. Luckily you can also get it online. Our friend’s at Shed in Healdsburg order it for us. It’s a great item to have in your party pantry! It’s great as part of a cheese and antipasti plate and of course as part of this simple, yet amazing salad.
I served this salad with good bread. We then finished the meal with another great Italian recipe, Italian Pear and Almond Cake with Mascarpone Cream.
Easy Bresaola and Arugula Salad
This can hardly be called a recipe, it’s so simple. This salad is as delicious as it is easy to make.
- Prep Time: 10
- Total Time: 10
- Yield: 4
- Category: Salads
For the dressing:
- 4 T Lemon
- 8 T Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt – to taste
- Pepper – to taste
For the salad:
- 6 C arugula
- 1/4 lb sliced bresaola
- Parmesan cheese for shaving
- Start by making the dressing. In a mason jar combine the lemon, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Cover the jar and give it a good shake until the ingredients are well combined.
- Now make the salad. In a wide salad bowl add the arugula.
- Add two-thirds of the dressing and toss.
- Top the salad with bresaola so that the perimeter of your salad includes bresaola all around.
- Then shave the Parmesan cheese on top.