One hope in my gourmet work, is that I promote the revival of some food traditions that are seemingly becoming garbage, such as Aperitivo. Why is it becoming garbage- there are more and more bars boasting Aperitivo more than ever. Precisely!
To me, the concept of Aperitivo is to have a snack and a light appetite-stimulating drink (socially) before dinner. Aperitivo is not dinner and I shun the current wave of “aperi-cena”
I would encourage you all to invite a couple friends over to enjoy this before heading out to dinner or before making dinner at home. It is also a great way to build stronger relationships with your flatmates, even if you all have busy schedules and independent lives. Even if someone is rushing out the door, you can spare a few minutes for a bite and a sip to catch up with the people you live with and perhaps rarely get to see. On a side note, I prefer shared living situations for a multitude of reasons. I’m not saying I haven’t dreamed of having my own loft apartment all to myself with a pristine sparkling clean kitchen and a space all to myself. I just don’t think solo-living on a large scale, is realistic and healthy for communities and resources.
This will hopefully give you more insight as to why I am so passionate about social eating rituals such as Aperitivo. In short, I’m a diehard extrovert.
Now that I have exhausted your attention span, here is a quick recipe you can easily create at home.
Mozzarella Crostini Drizzled with White Truffle Honey and Pine Nuts
>One ball of fresh, Mozzarella di Bufala (any fresh mozzarella will do, especially if you are in the states where fancy food costs an arm and a leg)
>A bit of white truffle honey (maybe one teaspoon total should do you, as it is meant as a light drizzle finish)
>Pine Nuts (use your sense, I use about 4-6 nuts per crostino piece)
>Real, good Italian EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
>Sliced, Rustic Crusty Artisan bread (about 2 slices per person)
This is so incredibly easy, I don’t even think this needs direction. In any case, slice up this milky mozzarella. Toast raw pine nuts in a pan or in the oven. Be careful not to burn by tossing frequently. Slice and toast bread. Cut each slice in half if you prefer smaller bites. Drizzle olive oil on each bread piece. Lay mozzarella on each piece. Salt and pepper. Speckle in pine nuts on each slice. And drizzle truffle honey to finish. Voila!
Wine Pairing: You can never go wrong with a glass of Prosecco or Franciacorta sparkling wines. If you’d like something not so bubbly, try a Greco di Tufo sur lie such as from the producer Pietracupa. But honestly, this snack is pretty versatile and can go with many white wines. Try a Vernaccia di San Gimignano since it can be a light on the palate with some nutty notes which could pair well with the pine nuts, A Fiano di Avellino from Campania (since that is where Mozzarella di Bufala originates), An lightly aromatic white from Friuli such as a Malvasia or Sauvignon Blanc to perhaps melange well with the honey and complexity of the truffle notes, a white Lugana from the Garda region (trebbiano grapes), to name a few examples. Personally, I would not recommend a red unless it was light and low in tannins- I feel like a red wine would overpower the delicate flavors here like honey and the light, grassy yet buttery nuances in fresh mozzarella cheese. But everything is up for experimentation!
Feeling overwhelmed? A good bet for getting the best wine pairing is to go to a great small neighborhood wine shop. Tell the staff what you are making and ask for their recommendation! Not the grocery store, a shop wholly dedicated to wine! The staff are usually passionate and love sharing their knowledge. Plus, this will further extend the social aspect of aperitivo- talking to strangers and making friends!
Don’t know where to find ingredients like these or have tip on your favorite local gourmet shop? Leave a comment!
Try this snack at home and let me know what wine you preferred! Let’s get social- post up your creation and pairing on Instagram or Facebook and tag Curious Appetite! I’m curious 🙂
For the sake of eating and drinking (and living) well,
The Curious Appetite
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