Pretty. Easy. Bresaola Hand Rolls

If you’re like me, you’ll take all the help you can get during the holidays. In the spirit of entertaining, here’s an hors d’oeuvres that’s so simple to put together, it doesn’t really need a recipe. It’s a Mediterranean take on a sushi hand roll where the seaweed is replaced by Bresaola (an air-dried beef) that’s filled with an assortment of flavors. These are gorgeous little bundles that are a sure thing at a cocktail party though I’ve been making them as a little snack break between all the party prep that I’ve been up to.

Bresaola Hand Roll Recipe


Bresaola Hand Rolls Recipe

Bresaola is an air-dried beef that hails from Italy, although many cultures across the Mediterranean and Middle East have similar styles of charcuterie. While I’m a sucker for good cured pork, they always hog the spotlight so I thought I’d feature another equally delicious cured meat. This is also a shoo-in when you have non pork eaters around but still want an elegant small bite to start the meal.

  • Makes 24 appetizers
  • Total Time: 10 mins
  • Hands On Time: 10 mins


  • 1/4 pound (4 ounces) Bresaola, sliced paper thin (can substitute prosciutto)
  • 3 ounces baby arugula, watercress, or other peppery green, washed and thoroughly dried
  • 6 ounces Manchego or another aged sheep’s cheese
  • 3 ounces quince paste (aka membrillo) or fig jam


To assemble, spread bresaola out on a clean work surface. Place 3 pieces of arugula in the center of the piece, top with a very thin sliver of cheese and a thin slice of quince paste. Roll each bresaola piece up to into a cylinder (or cigar form) to enclose filling.

Place on a serving platter and repeat until all the bresaola is used up. (Tip: Keep the serving platter in the refrigerator until you have assembled all the rolls so that they stay cool.)

(Can be made up to 4 hours ahead and stored refrigerated in an airtight container.)


Serve the bresaola the classic Italian manner, tiled on a plate like a carpaccio with a good drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice.


Drizzle the bresaola with truffle oil before rolling it up, add a few marinated mushrooms, and/or replace the quince paste with a drizzle of truffle honey.


Replace the filling with a spoonful of your favorite pesto sauce.

Pretty Easy is a monthly feature showcasing doable yet interesting recipes. Even those who fear cooking often find success with these recipes.

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