Whenever I eat preserved meats like salami or ham I always have this image of my dad promptly heading to the cellar ("la cantina") downstairs to fetch a salami that would be hanging from the ceiling.
The cantina had that unique smell emanating from the meat: a distinctive musty-sweet and strong aroma, like a fragrance which was utterly addictive. The cantina would also store several craters of bottles of grandad's homemade wine and demijohns. So a bottle would come up as well to go with the meat.
He would make ridiculously generous thick slices and gobble them down whilst munching "grissini" (Italian breadsticks). Then it would all be watered down with a glass or two of red wine. I could never recollect how many slices of salami he would eat in a really short space of time, neither did he care, he was too busy enjoying the moment.
With these memories in mind, over the weekend I have prepared a quick starter with ham, salami, Parmesan shavings and rocket, all drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. A simple dish or appetizer you can prepare in minutes and with guaranteed success!
- Prep Time : 15 minutes
Make the dressing by mixing the olive oil with the balsamic vinegar and the salt.
Pour the dressing on the rocket leaves and mix well so all the leaves are well impregnated with it.
Scatter over some pieces of Parmesan
Twist the ham and place it on the salad.
Roll the salami slices and arrange them on the plate. Put some olives in the middle and cherry tomatoes around it too. Let your creativity create this dish to your liking.
Enjoy with fresh rustic bread or breadsticks (grissini).