|Balsamic Vinegar Caviar|
Effort: Easy - but you need patience!
Yield: Approx. 1/2 cup
The method used in this simple recipe is known as "basic spherification" or "gelification", which nowadays is common in what is called molecular cuisine. It is actually extremely easy to make, and can be made with any liquid of your choice - the options and uses are endless - from appetizers, to salads to cocktails! All you need is a little patience and creativity! Once prepared, these little gems can be stored in the refrigerator for several days and will definitely impress your guests! (Keep in mind, the longer they are stored the more solid they will become.)
3/4 cup Balsamic vinegar - red or white
5g. powdered Agar-agar
1 1/2 cups vegetable or olive oil
Water for rinsing
Special tool: 1 pipette or eye-dropper
Pour the oil into a tall glass and chill in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the agar with the vinegar in a small saucepan over medium/high heat and bring to a boil.
Remove the oil from the freezer, and fill the pipette with vinegar mixture. Using steady pressure drop droplets of the vinegar into the oil - be sure to be about 1" above the oil for the droplets to form perfect spheres. They will eventually sink to the bottom. Keep doing so until you have used up all the vinegar. Sieve out the "caviar" and gently rinse with cold water then place in a jar, or bowl if you plan to use them right away. The remaining oil can be re-used for later.
- If you don't want to use all the vinegar mixture at once, you can store it and reheat again for later use.
- Be sure to use steady gentle pressure when squeezing out the droplets from the pipette otherwise you will get air bubbles and they won't form into spheres.
- The caviar does not have to be rinsed if you plan to serve them on a salad with olive oil.
Serving Suggestions for Balsamic Vinegar Caviar:
- On salads with olive oil, salt & pepper
- On sliced tomatoes with some evoo
- On fish or meat carpaccio or as decoration alongside your favorite sushi
Have fun and experiment !