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Tag Archives: balsamic

Balsamic Vinegar Apertif

Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar is Delicious as an Apertif

Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar is Delicious as an Apertif

As an after dinner drink to settle the stomach, balsamic vinegars have long been a favorite. This week I discovered Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar at Peggy Finger’s oil & vinegar shop in Midland. It is addicting! The color is so beautiful and bright and it has a perfect combo of tart and fruitiness!

After drinking a few glasses of wine at a dinner party, an alcohol free digestive like the original and flavored balsamic vinegars we have today are a welcome change to the high alcohol limoncello, grappa, brandies and cordials usually served. They settle the stomach and give us a chance to use our fancy cordial glasses tucked away in our cabinets!  Enjoy!

For info about the craft of making balsamic vinegar:

Mercato di O & V is Peggy Finger’s shop located on Rodd Street 1/2 block off of Main Street, downtown Midland.

Chickpea 2 with Olives & Dried Herbes

Chickpea, Olives & Dried Herbs

Chickpea, Olives & Dried Herbs

Margee Smith introduced this recipe to me through the cookbook by Patricia Wells, Bistro Cooking.It is very similiar to the Chickpea recipe I posted last month. Here I experimented with kalmata olives and oil-cured olives, fines herbes and herbes de Provence, chianti red wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar. Each combination tastes great. Fines Herbes is a dried combination of four: parsley, chives, chervil & tarragon. Herbes de Provence is more floral and contains a variety of flavors. Both mixtures are French, so they are delicious! If I had to make the choice I would use the fines herbes, balsamic vinegar and kalmata olives 🙂

In a medium bowl combine:

1 -15-oz can chickpeas/garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup finely minced onion

1/2 cup pitted olives cut into 1/4’s or 1/6’s, kalmata or oil-cured

5 cloves garlic, minced

In a small bowl whisk together:

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, aged or red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon dried fines herbes or herbes de Provence

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly crushed black pepper or more

Pour marinade over chickpea mixture. Mix well, cover and refrigerate 1-2 days before serving. Stir several times.

Serve at room temperature.

Strawberry and Goat Cheese Crostini

Rapini served with Crostini

Rapini served with Crostini

1 cup strawberries, hulled and diced

1 teaspoon sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

One baguette, sliced on the bias

2 tablespoons thick, aged balsamic vinegar

4 oz. goat cheese, room temperature

¼ cup fresh basil, julienne cut

Black pepper

  • In a small bowl combine strawberries, sugar and salt. Marinate at least one hour.
  • Lightly toast bread slices under the broiler
  • Spread a thin layer of softened goat cheese over bread.
  • Spoon strawberry mixture over goat cheese.
  • Drizzle balsamic over berries
  • Layer basil over berries
  • Sprinkle pepper on top
  • Serves 6 as a tapas alone or with Rapini with Balsamic