Bresaola and avocado

Which Soho trat first served this antipasta now eludes me, the memory lost in the mists of time known more commonly as ‘the 1970s’. I distinctly remember it seeming rather daring at the time, but then avocados were very much on the cutting edge of food in the early part of that decade. However daring it was, or wasn’t, the combination works in a way that Parma ham and avocado would not. Bresaola is air-cured beef from the Alpine regions of Italy. It is always expensive and used to be rather hard to find. This no longer applies, as all the chain-stores stock it ready sliced, and I have to say it’s excellent. (Not something that can be said about most pre-sliced cured meat products.) A remarkably easy starter to prepare, it must unfortunately be done at the last minute to prevent the avocado from discolouring.

Ingredients

  • 250-300 g sliced bresaola (if your deli is slicing it for you, ask for it to be done on number 1 setting)
  • 3 ripe avocados (get them in several days before and ripen them yourself)
  • very good olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper

Method

Lightly oil a large and attractive serving platter, and spread the slices of bresaola on this. Halve the avocado, remove the stone, peel and cut into segments. Place a piece on each slice of beef.

Serving

Squeeze the lemon over everything, then season generously with freshly ground black pepper, a little salt and more olive oil.

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