Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Bacon Shards, 18-Year Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
Thinking about my upcoming Thanksgiving menu, wondering if my nephews would try the Brussels sprouts this time around. Can Aunt GeeGee sell one of America’s most-disliked vegetables to 11 & 13-year-old boys?
Hmmm…maybe bacon would help, but not some puny bacon bits. This would have to be real bacon, the thick smoky meaty kind from my butcher, not the pre-packaged grocery store variety. And it would have to be substantial. Bacon shards. And I will drizzle it with the most heavenly vinegar, a vinegar older than both of them…rich and creamy, sweet and subtly sour, aged 18 years!
Who am I kidding? I know what their plates will look like…turkey, their grandma’s mashed potatoes, gravy, and shards of bacon (no Brussels sprouts in sight). Maybe I can get them to try my pumpkin risotto, it’s full of cheese after all.
Sorry but I really am tired of the Caprese Salad and all its incarnations. Caprese grilled cheese, caprese kabobs, caprese bruschetta, caprese pasta salad, caprese pizza, caprese schmaese. But when I saw a photo of cherry tomatoes paired with cherry-sized mozzarella and edible flowers from a restaurant called “Salt” I just had to make my own version. The idea of the colors alone had me hooked.
After all, there truly is something magical about the classic pairing of tomato and mozzarella and basil. Especially in summer. And of course, with limited ingredients in the dish, the best quality of each component is required. Heirloom cherry tomatoes from the farmers market. Flowers and herbs from my own garden. Balsamic vinegar, gran riserva. Fresh mozzarella crafted in the Italian style. My favorite fruity olive oil from California Ranch.