Bresaola with Arugola and Parmesan

Bresaola with Arugola and Parmesan

By 06/04/2012

May I introduce you to my granny: a fit 88 year old with a good sense of humor who lived all her life in the middle of the countryside and has always worked hard rearing cattle, chicken and pigs and working the fields.
She knows her countryside very well and she knows what's edible out there. So I have counted on her help to find some nice fresh wild herbs to use in my cooking.

Italian grandmother

It is now the best time to go foraging. Wild herbs are much more tasty and have a stronger taste than ordinary crops and are excellent in cooking.
We found some wild rocket which grows easily in Italy in sandy soils where the sun shines.
It has a more pungent and strong taste compared to common rocket.
With the rocket I made this classic Italian dish "Bresaola with rocket and Parmesan" which is quite delicate and the flavour of the meat, the bitterness of the rocket combined with the richness of the cheese make a great dish ready in minutes.
Bresaola is air cured beef. A very lean meat which basically has no fat and it is often recommended on diets too.

  • Prep Time : 10 minutes



Place the bresaola on a plate and sprinkle the rocket on it. Shave some Parmesan cheese on top and sprinkle with good quality olive oil and a dash of balsamic vinegar.
Bresaola with arugola and parmesan cheese
Whilst we were in the fields we have been picking some taraxacum or dandelion which is a beneficial weed with a wide range of uses.  

It has a bitter taste but has a detox and cleansing effect on the liver, it is diuretic and rich in vitamins.
It is easily recognizable by its bright yellow flowers and at the moment the fields are covered with it.
It can be added to salads or it can be cooked in little water and served with olive oil, a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon, which helps cutting the bitterness.

You don't eat the flowers only the leaves are edible. Granny gives it to her chicken too. They enjoy it and the eggs taste very good!

Another plant which is flowering now is the calendula which is widely known for its properties (anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and helps treating skin problems).

calendula flower

It has pretty bright orange and yellow flowers. Granny makes a cream with it using lard. She boils it with the calendula flowers, then sieves it and the cream is ready. Beeswax can be used instead of lard.

calendula cream
It has been an interesting day for me. I am hoping to pick more and different types of herbs soon.We have been having some rain which will make the fields thrive with new fresh leaves!  
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29 Responses to Bresaola with Arugola and Parmesan

  1. Sew Appetising

    Thank you Alida…what a lovely surprise…Your Granny is amazing by the way…Sara x

  2. Alexandra

    It was nice to meet your granny. I give dandelion leaves to my chickens too, they love them.Thankyou so very much for passing those awards on to me, I am truly flattered. xxx

  3. Recetario Spanglish para mis hijos

    Alida, this is a lovely post. I´ve enjoyed it! The calendula, I have some flowers in my silk oolong tea, also the dandelion I can buy at the supermarket. What I need to know (my husband is desperately looking for it) is the English translation for RADICHETA this is the way we call it, it must be a similar word in Italy. Please ask your granny, because it tastes more or less like the dandelion but it´s softer. And the leaf is not like the rocket´s. Happy Easter for you and family!Myriam

  4. elly

    Il primo complimento è per la splendida nonna! Che bellezza avere vicino qualcuno che conosce bene la campagna e i suoi prodotti spontanei! Mi piacerebbe tanto poterli riconoscere perché vedo che nei blog ci sono tante belle ricette con queste verdure. Alida, mi fa piacere che sei mia follower e ti leggo con piacere. Ne approfitto per lasciarti i miei più cari auguri per la Pasqua a te e a tutta la tua famiglia… nonna compresa!

  5. Lauralovescakes

    Thank you so much Alida for nominating me! It's always nice to receive an award…and congratulations on yours! 🙂

  6. Debra Santangelo

    Ciao Alida 🙂 A lovely blog post – your bresaola & rucola recipe looks delicious and I just love the idea of making homemade calendula cream! Buona Pasqua.

  7. Rosita Vargas

    me gustaría tener rúcula en maceteros intentaré ,feliz pascua llena de bendiciones,abrazos y abrazos.

  8. La cucina di Molly

    Che belle foto, e che meraviglia questo piatto di bresaola con la rucola!Un piatto semplice ma squisito1Ciao e Buona Pasqua!

  9. simple baking

    Beautiful post. Such a wealth of natural herbs and remedies and you are so lucky to have a "very young" granny to guide you through! Congrats on your awards dear and thankyou so much for thinking of me 🙂

  10. Ombretta

    Wow tua nonna e' in gamba:-) mi piace tantissimo l insalata di bresaola.. E mi incuriosisce la crema di calendula. Auguri di buona Pasqua a te e tutta la tua famiglia!

  11. Catherine

    Dear Alida, You are very blessed to have your grandma with you to teach the many beautiful secrets of life. Enjoy each and every moment you share together. Have a wonderful Easter. Blessings my dearest. Catherine xoxo

  12. Lenia

    Che bella nonna!Buona Pasqua,carissima!Un bacione forte da Grecia!

  13. Alida

    I have asked my mum and she thinks it is wild radicchio (not sure though!). Radicchio is an Italian crisp type of salad which could be red or green in colour. There is also a wild variety. Do you think it could be this?

  14. Rita

    I still would love to go foraging with your Granny. Great pictures. HAppy Easter to you and your family Alida.Rita

  15. garlutti

    HI ALIDA …Thanks for visiting .. lovely post diemte collecting wild lion or arugula … HAPPY HAPPY EASTER AND AWARDS …KISSES Marimi

  16. Hema

    Sounds like you had a nice time with your grandma, I heard of this herb rocket very recently..

  17. Carmen Anderson

    Love that photo of your grandma, it's such a beautiful picture! This recipe sounds delicious, I will definitely try to make some calendula cream!

  18. Pegasuslegend

    What a beautiful family you have reminds me on my nana… She's so looks like shes enjoying life! How I love these photos… Bellissimo!

  19. Vanessa @ Cakes and Teacups

    Aww Alida, what a lovely post about granny. Made me think of mine : ) Isn't it wonderful to learn from granny's and grand dads? All of the wisdom and stories. I love and miss that.I also want to thank you for thinking of me by giving me an award. It feels nice to know that someone really takes the time to read your blogs and like them. I appreciate it. You know that I'm a fan of yours. Have a lovely day! : )

  20. Achu's Amma's Kitchen

    u had a lovely time with ur "young smart" granny..congrats ur awards.interesting post ans awesome pics.

  21. Javelin Warrior

    Alida, sorry I haven't been by sooner – I'm terribly behind in my reading after traveling most of last week. But thank you so much for sharing this post. Your grandmother looks quite spry and very knowledgeable about foraging – I've only had dandelion greens a few times and that was back when I was just a child. But if I could find a pesticide-free region, I'd happily give them another try 😉

  22. Angie

    Pues me parece un plato riquísimo, Alida, no lo conocía. Besitos.

  23. All That I'm Eating

    I love foraging and wild food. It's lovely that you get to go with your Granny! The rocket sounds perfect in your simple salad.

  24. Giovanna

    Tua nonna è fantastica! E' bello essere così pimpanti ed avere tanta sapienza. Saper riconoscere le erbe spontanee è una qualità che mi piacerebbe avere. La rucola, quando posso, la coltivo sul balcone, e come te, la preparo con la bresaola e il grana, a parte che la utilizzo come ingrediente di tante insalate o primi piatti freddi.Un bacione

  25. Julie

    Don't waste the abundant dandelion flowers!! By removing the green base and using only the petals, they make a lovely and delicate wine.

  26. Pingback: – Green and yellow crepes with rocket and bresaola salad

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