Make an Hors D’ouevre Pop with Balsamic Vinegar of Modena Pearls

Balsamic Vinegar of Modena has a fruity
note to it and I find it to be a light vinegar. It has a nice sharpness that
really pairs well with food. Here I used it to create a colored hors d’oeuvre
that combines a crunchy black cracker, a silky white bean puree, a dash of color
from the yellow beets, and a flavor and visual contrast from balsamic pearls.
First we’re making the cracker. It starts with a slightly wet dough that’s black
from charcoal powder. When you’re making a one-bite hors d’oeuvre, you have to
think about its visual effect. Because it’s a single bite, you want to make it
as compelling as possible, and a black cracker is the first step. I score the
dough before I put it in the oven and this will help us break the crackers
apart once they’re done. I chose to top the crackers with a cannellini bean
puree. This type of bean transforms into a really nice smooth and silky texture.
Visually, the white of the bean against the black cracker is the contrast I’m
looking for. I love the flavor of beets and the
golden variety adds a sweet visual pop of color. My favorite element of this
recipe is the balsamic pearls. Balsamic adds a nice hit of acidity that pairs
really well with the beets and bean puree. When the balsamic agar mixture drops
into the oil, it sinks into a thicker cold medium, and the agar forms a skin
around the droplet of balsamic, which creates the pearls. Visually the balsamic pearls are
interesting. It’s a beautiful presentation you wouldn’t get by simply drizzling balsamic to finish the dish. These
provide a concentrated hit of that beautiful balsamic flavor.

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