This simple dish bursts with the flavours of Italy. Its inspiration? The many memorable cured meats I experienced during my travels through Florence and Venice.
Countless prosciutto to choose from
The addition of a good balsamic vinegar is the only natural thing to do.
My favourite part about wandering through the markets of Italy is the generous samples the vendors offer. Back home, I sheepishly mumble my request for a meat or cheese sample and feel I’m a hassle if I pick several.
Asparagus would be the typical vegetable choice for this dish but I used broccolini because it is readily available during the colder winter months.
- 1 bunch of Broccolini
- Fresh Basil
- Thinly sliced Prosciutto or your preferred cured meat
- 1 cup Balsamic Vinegar
- Olive Oil
Prepare an ice bath. Trim the bottom tip off the broccolini.
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add a generous amount of salt. Blanch the broccolini for 30 seconds, remove, then submerge into the ice bath.
When the broccolini is fully cooled, drain and pat dry with a kitchen towel.
Reduce the balsamic vinegar over medium heat until it becomes 1/4 cup of sticky syrup. Set aside.
Here’s the fun part. Heat up some olive oil in a deep pot until the oil shimmers.
Have a splatter guard, pot lid, or anything that you can use as a shield ready. Wear goggles to be extra safe. It’s impossible to shoot photos during this quick (and risky) procedure so I apologize.
Drop a small handful of basil leaves into the oil. Immediately shield your face from potential splatter. It only takes one second for the leaves to pop. Immediately fish them from the oil with a strainer and place onto a towel-lined plate. The leaves should become crisp and translucent, but not darkened or it will be bitter.
Heat up the grill and coat generously with olive oil. Grill the broccolini until slightly charred and softened. Season with salt and pepper.
Garnish with basil crisps when ready to serve.