Olive Oil + Balsamic Vinegar + Summer = Heaven on a Dish!
here are three of my favorites:
Sweet Corn and Basil
Remove the kernels from fresh corn cobs and place into a large skillet that has been warming up a few tablespoons of olive oil. Saute for a few minutes - till corn is crisp/tender. Add a handful of shredded fresh basil. Let cool a bit. Add diced tomatoes, a bit of minced garlic (to taste), salt and pepper and Balsamic Vinegar. More basil on top. Toss well. Serve chilled.
Burrata is mozzarella in its highest form. Decadent and spreadable. It is a large puffball with a cream center. I put it in a bowl, as shown and let it come close to room temperature. I gently open it, pour olive oil, lots of salt, pepper and then drizzle the balsamic. Meanwhile, I am grilling or toasting wedges of ciabatta or other kind of chewy bread. Pass this around and see your guests swoon.
You can also sprinkle some fresh herbs to the mix and/or make a special caprese.
Toss some fresh arugula with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Slice nectarines on top and add another splash of vinegar.
What could be easier? The peppery quality of the arugula lets the fruit and sweetness of the vinegar pop.
About Balsamic Vinegar
As with any recipe, the higher the quality of ingredients, the better the result. Most thin and runny balsamic vinegars sold in grocery stores are simply flavored to taste like it. It is sour and harsh (which is why most balsamic dressings have honey added to them).
The recipes I've shared with you today are best made with a high quality balsamic vinegar. My every day vinegar is called Saporoso. It is possible to buy this online and it runs about $30, depending on size. It is viscous and sweet because it has been aged.
One can spend a lot of money on balsamic - a couple of hundred dollars for the highest quality. - where only two drops of the stuff in a salad would be enough for six people!
Another alternative is to use a balsamic glaze - can be found in some grocery stores and online. You can also make it at home. It is made by using any quality of vinegar, and adding sugar over heat to thicken it.
While it may have its uses, I personally recommend spending $30 or $40 on the good stuff, like Saporoso, as a little goes a long way - and well, that burrata, extra virgin olive oil and fabulous produce of summer deserve the best.
How do you use balsamic vinegar? If you send me your recipe, I will share it with readers next time.