I don’t know if you noticed, but I didn’t blog a recipe last week. I was in Melbourne. My husband and I had gone down to look after his terminally ill father and then we stayed on for his funeral. Benito is mentioned in my blog already. He was one of the Italian migrants who arrived here in Australia in the fifties and I have posted his recipe up called Benito’s Polpetta. Benito was eightyfour years old and was a great cook. He often had us all over for lasagna or pasta or homemade sausages. He has a vegetable and fruit garden behind the house. There is a tree laden with figs and two lemon trees. One with a normal type lemon and the other with a lemon with extra thick rind that the family enjoyed with vinegar and salt. He grew his own vegetables and fruit long before it became “trendy” and made his own vinegar and wine back when Australians didn’t understand what these things were for.
Benito has a prickly pear tree in his garden too. I still don’t think many people know what these are. They are a member of the cactus family and the fruit has prickles all over it. However with the right skill you can take the skin off and inside is a delicious fruit that comes in red or orange and yellow.
I learned so many things from this wonderful man. He always used fresh produce and simple flavours. This was the Italian way.
The recipe I am writing about today is not one of his but it has the same principles. It is a lovely thing to serve in Summer and on those warmer days.
3 large washed potatoes cut into bite size pieces with skin on
1/2 cup of chopped parsley
5 pieces of thin prosciutto
1 punnet of baby tomatoes
2 bunches of asparagus
1 lemon cut into wedges
Lemon infused olive oil
Rock salt and fresh pepper
Heat the oven to 150 degrees
Place the cut up potatoes in boiling water and boil until firm but cooked.
Cut the baby tomatoes in half and place on baking paper in a pan. Place a rack over the tomatoes and put prosciutto on the rack (see photo)
Place in oven for 10-15 minutes until the prosciutto is crispy and the tomatoes are partly roasted.
The prosciutto will flavour the tomatoes
Blanch asparagus until slightly cooked but still crunchy.
In a large bowl combine all the ingredients and crumble the crunchy prosciutto over the top.
Add the zest of one lemon and dress with lemon infused olive oil. Grated a little Parmesan cheese over the bowl and salt and pepper to taste.
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