Ever been to one of those olive oil/vinegar bars? I know they are popping up all over the place – even the local mall. When I was in Door County, WI a few months ago, I finally visited one.
If you live in, say, the Chicago area, you should be quite familiar with Door County. It’s one of the 20-some destinations in Wisconsin that frazzled Chicagoans escape to on the weekends during the summer. And as such, yes, there is a bit of Chicago-Wisconsin animosity. I know – I used to live there. I readily used the term FIB* and yet…now I am one.
Anyhow, Door County is filled with little shops and restaurants. I am a bit nostalgic about the place – having gone there almost yearly since birth (in my pre-FIB days). As I said previously, on my most recent trip, I came across a little olive oil/vinegar bar called Fish Creek Oilerie. They had all kinds of oils and vinegars to sample. I came across their aged balsamic – did a shot and…swoon! This is some of the best balsamic vinegar I’ve ever had. Especially for the price. So I scarfed up a bottle.
Now what to do with it? Tons of things. I’ve been meaning to glaze some chicken with it. But for today, we’re going to throw it on some berries.
I wish I could give a recipe for this, but I really don’t have one. I eyeballed everything.
More or less, this is what I did:
Sliced some berries.
Poured a few tablespoons of balsamic into a bowl. Added a smidge of sugar. Tossed in the berries and stirred to coat.
Then I grabbed another bowl – threw in maybe half a cup of mascarpone cheese. Then maybe 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla. And maybe some sugar. Stirred it up.
Then I put the berries in a serving dish and served them with a dollop of mascarpone.
Good stuff! Enjoy!
Ms. Pantry Raid
*For your education: FIB.
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Posted in Appetizers, Sandwiches, tagged balsamic vinegar, early girl, easy, farmers market, garlic aioli, grape tomatoes, Green Zebra, pantry raid, recipe, summer, tomato sandwich, tomatoes on September 23, 2009 |
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A plethora of tomatoes from the Farmers Market: multi-colored heirloom cherry tomatoes, Green Zebras, yellow grape and bright red Early Girl tomatoes.
Alright, so I was a little excitable at the Farmers Market recently. Tomatoes were in and I had to have every shape, size and color available. Each stall was better than the last. Needless to say, I came home with pounds of tomatoes. I mean, look at them. Could you resist?
One of my all-time favorite food memories is the first time I brought home a perfectly ripe tomato from the Farmer’s Market and bit into it like an apple, juices running down my arm and into my kitchen sink. It was like candy and I was in heaven.
Since then, one of the rights of passage of summer for me is a Tomato Sandwich with the best summer tomatoes I can find. Nothing simpler. Nothing better.
Does it warrant a recipe?
French bread layered with garlic aioli, heirloom tomatoes, a drizzling of balsamic vinegar and parmesan shavings.
No. Probably not.
What I do is slice a mess of tomatoes (remember my tip for slicing small tomatoes?) Different sizes and different colors are best cause it just looks so summery.
Then I grab some good, crusty bread.
Slather on a layer of (cheater’s) garlic aioli*.
Then load it up with tomatoes, a sprinkling of sea salt, some shavings of Parmigiano-reggiano, a drizzle of the best balsamic vinegar I’ve got on-hand and voila.
The best summer sandwich imaginable.
And an alternative on toasted baguette rounds for an easy appetizer.
*Cheater’s garlic aioli = store bought mayo + a clove of crushed garlic. Summer is for relaxing my friends.
Ms. Pantry Raid
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