Summer in Australia means sunshine and smoking barbeques, with a cooling cocktail to match. That’s a vibe that Michael Mori knows all too well, both from his native Italy and at Cottesloe’s seaside canteen Il Lido – whose name comes from the Italian word for “beach”, no less.
As the head sommelier at Il Lido, Mori not only reigns over an extensive wine list but also collaborates with the bar manager on the cocktail front. And given the eatery’s Italian focus and enviable ocean location, it’s no surprise that Aperol Spritzes are hugely popular there. Mori first experienced this classic Italian bittersweet spritz in Parma, the Italian city famous for parmesan cheese and prosciutto.
“Even in Italy, Aperol Spritz means summer,” says Mori. “Everywhere you walk, there are spritzes on the table at the bars.”
With that in mind, Mori shares a summer barbeque recipe that merges Italian and Aussie traditions. Created by Il Lido’s head chef, Roberto Zampogna, specifically to complement an Aperol Spritz, the Aussie/Italian Summer is a parmesan-crumbed take on the lamb cutlet with a refreshing, Italian-inspired salsa verde on the side. In true antipasto style, it’s an easy snack ideal for a sun-soaked afternoon surrounded by friends – preferably with a barbeque and the water close by.
It’s also perfect for sharing around, and can easily be multiplied to serve more people. As Mori points out, the Aperol Spritz’s citrusy aroma and the sweetness of the prosecco cut through the rich meat and cheese, while the salsa verde refreshes the palate.
Add in a summer-friendly playlist curated by Sydney indie pop star Sloan Peterson, and you’ve got a dreamy soundtrack for some time in the sun with your mates.
Recipe: Classic Aperol Spritz
Makes 1 serve. Approx. 1.3 standard drinks.
90ml Italian prosecco
30ml soda water
1 valencia orange
Fill a large wine glass with ice. Add prosecco, Aperol and a dash of soda water. Garnish with an orange wedge and serve.
The Aussie/Italian Summer
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
2 lamb cutlets
100g sourdough crumbs (approx. 1 generous slice of sourdough)
20g Grana Padano (parmesan) cheese
50ml clarified butter
For the salsa verde:
1 clove garlic
80ml olive oil
10ml sherry vinegar
Method Using a sharp knife, carefully remove the excess fat from the lamb cutlets, leaving the bone clean. Arrange your cutlets on a plate, lightly season, and leave to rest on a paper towel. Place the sourdough in the oven at 180˚C for approximately 10 minutes to dry out. Once your breadcrumbs have cooled to room temperature, add them to a food processor with the cheese and parsley. Mix until smooth, then add salt and pepper to taste. Dip your lamb cutlets in clarified butter, then press them onto the parmesan crumb until well covered.
For the salsa verde, mix all the ingredients in a blender and blitz until smooth. Season to taste.
Cook the lamb cutlets on the flat plate of the barbeque to your liking for approximately three minutes on each side. Plate up with salsa verde on the side and an Aperol Spritz in hand.
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This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Aperol Spritz. Try this recipe at home while you #ShareASpritz with friends. Drink responsibly.