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29 June, 2015

Strawberry in balsamic vinegar

Comments : 6 Posted in : Drinks & Desserts on by : Ratna Tags: , , , , ,

 

strawberry in balsamic vinegar-16

A  short  drive  from  the  busy  city  of  Rome, felt  like  a  long  step  back  in  time.  The  beautiful  medieval  village  of  Mazzano  Romano  is  home  to  Chef  Fabio  Bongianni.  Halfway  in  Law  school,  he  realized  his  true  calling  in  life  was  food,  not  felons.  A  change  of  course  and  training  in  Paris  later,  he  opened  a  few  very  successful  restaurants  in  Rome.  That  was  not  all,  he  wanted  to  share  his  passion  with  others  with  similar  interest  and  opened  cooking  classes  both  in  Rome  as  well  as  in  Mazzano.

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Bonjourno,  greeted  Chef  Monica  to  our  small  group,  for  whom  just  marvelling  at  the  Fontanas  and  Basilicas  was  not  enough.  We  wanted  to  delve  further.  Eat  where  the  locals  do,  cook  like  the  locals.  We  had  joined  a  day  course  with  Chef  Fabio’s  team.  Bonjourno  we  returned  the  greeting.  Set  against  the  Treja  valley,  the  stone  houses  met  with  cobblestone  path  on  one  side  and  a  lush  green  vegetation on the  other.

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The  first  stop  was  to  get  fresh  produce  from  the  local  grocer.  Zucchini,  tomatoes,  eggplants  whatever  was  in  season.  As  we  walked  back  to  the  apartment  a  group  of  elders  waved  us  with  a  gummy  smile.  Time  seemed  to  have  stopped  in  this  little  town,  or  maybe  it  was  the  attitude  of  the  locals  that  made ‘ time’  their  slaves,  not  the  other  way  around.  The  words  ‘Schedules’,  ‘Plans’  had  no  meaning.

Our  conversations  were  punctuated  only  by  the  rustle  of  the  leaves.  The  lazy  river  deep  in  the  valley  meandered   at  its  own  pace.  The  kitty  on  the  roof  top  kept  a  keen  eye  on  the  out  of  towners.

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As  we  measured  flour  and  cut  strawberries,  tasted  the  ravioli  filling  and  rolled  out  the  pasta  dough  we  made  new  friends.  We  laughed  a  lot.

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Mallo  what?  Malloreddu  explained  Chef  Monica  with  an  infectious  smile.  We  tried  to  say  the  word  without  much  success.  Our  new  friends  from  down  under  put  their  accent  on  the  word  sounding  it  funnier.  More  laughter  followed.

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It  was  almost  lunch  time.  We  exchanged  email  addresses  and  made  foot  notes  while  cleaning  the  sauce  drip  from  my  recipe  book.

The  day  ended  establishing  deep  friendships.  We  left  richer  in  culinary  expertise  and  an  experience  that  will  forever  be  etched  in  our  hearts.

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strawberry in balsamic vinegar-15Strawberry  in  Balsamic  vinegar  is  a recipe  that  you  don’t  have  to  keep  the  fingers  crossed  for  or  hover  around  the  oven  worrying  about  the  outcome.  The  flavour  and  aroma  of  the  fresh  berries  are  accentuated  by  the  acidic  vinegar.  This  can  be  assembled  in  no  time,  leaving  you  with  plenty  of  time  to  catch  up  with  friends.

We  were  enlightened  that  this  recipe  has  been  served  since  Renaissance  times.

Recipe:

Adapted  from  the  book  “A  Fabiolous  Cooking  Day”.  Serves  six.

Ingredients;

Strawberries                       One  pound  two  ozs,  hulled  and  cut

Balsamic  vinegar              One  fourth  cup

Superfine  sugar                Two  Tbsps

Lemon  juice                      Two  tsps

Mint  leaves,  chopped      Three  Tbsps

Vanilla  ice  cream              As  needed

Greek  yoghurt                   If  using  in  place  of  ice  cream

Method:

Place  the  strawberries  in  a  glass  bowl.  Pour  the  balsamic  vinegar  and  lemon  juice  over  it.  Add  the  sugar,  mint  leaves  and  toss  together.  Cover  with  Saran  wrap  and  marinate  in  the  fridge  for  about  an  hour.  Serve  over  Vanilla  ice  cream.

I  have  used  Greek  yoghurt  instead.

Inside  Scoop;

I  preferred  using  the  mint  leaves  just  before  serving.

Check  out  their  website  here.

By  Ratna

6s COMMENTS

6 thoughts on : Strawberry in balsamic vinegar

  • July 23, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    What a fabulous experience – Italy is my favourite destination. I am so enjoying going through your travel pictures , they are amazing. I know how delicious those strawberries are going to taste.

    • Ratna
      July 23, 2015 at 10:55 pm

      Thank you. I so liked your “weekend in the bush” post. South Africa has been added to my bucket list…

  • July 13, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    The combination of fresh strawberries and balsamic vinegar is perfection. Beautifully styled and photographed. Thanks for this very summery and refreshing dessert! 🙂

    • Ratna
      July 13, 2015 at 6:48 pm

      Thank you sooo much for your kind words and visit Elizabeth!

  • July 9, 2015 at 11:28 am

    I love the elegance and simplicity of these strawberries! I can imagine how amazing your day was picking up local produce and cooking with a passionate chef. Lovely photos!

    • Ratna
      July 9, 2015 at 3:21 pm

      Thanks for the visit Sonali, it truly was a day well spent…

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