5 Ingredients or Fewer

Fragole Modenese al' Pavarotti

June  2, 2010
1 Ratings
  • Serves Your best friends
Author Notes

First of all, Pierino loves strawberries. In high school we had a summer job picking them. But now I have to add that the supermarket variety is just about the most toxic fruit you can buy. Forget about "certified organic" lables, which is a term designed to benefit big agribusiness. Why toxic? Typically large farms use systemic poisons in the soil, which of course get into your berries. If you can, then buy berries at a farmers market from a small outfit where they may just raise other plants between the rows which attract beneficial insects. But ask. Now for the rant on balsamics. Most are crap. The most misused condiment of the nineties unless you count sundried tomatoes. An aged Spanish sherry vinegar is usually way better. For this very simple dessert use an authentic aceto balsamico tradizionale di Modena. That might set you back more than $100 but it might just have taken 75 to 100 years in the aging process. —pierino

What You'll Need
  • 2 pints best strawberries
  • aceto balsamico tradizionale
  • Pinch black pepper
  • special equipment, one eye dropper
  • "Nessun Dorma"
  1. Carefully wash the strawberries. Leave to drain and then core and halve each berry.
  2. Arrange on dainty little dishes. Add a light dust of pepper.
  3. Play "nessun dorma", pass the balsamico and the eye dropper. A few drops are enough..
  4. Note to cook: for the poor man's version substitute a really good, old, Spanish sherry vinegar, which will be about a tenth of the price. Forget about ordinary balsamics even if they are imported. You're not making salad dressing.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • pierino
  • boulangere
  • lapadia
  • Austintatious
Standup commis flâneur, and food historian. Pierino's background is in Italian and Spanish cooking but of late he's focused on frozen desserts. He is now finishing his cookbook, MALAVIDA! Can it get worse? Yes, it can. Visit the Malavida Brass Knuckle cooking page at Facebook and your posts are welcome there.

8 Reviews

pierino June 27, 2011
I did actually see the Three Tenors perform in Los Angeles on the eve of the 1994 World Cup. Of course the finale was "Nessun Dorma". And then the next morning I went to the game; Italy v. Brasil. Talk about living large.
pierino June 26, 2011
"Nessun Dorma" by the way was the unofficial anthem of the 1990 World Cup in Italy. Perfect because it means "no one sleeps", but also the final verse, "al alba vincero" means "at dawn I will win".
boulangere June 25, 2011
Play Nessun Dorma and weep at its beauty while consuming beautiful fruit.
Austintatious June 26, 2011
Yes, very possibly the most beautiful piece of music ever, at least, when performed by Pavarotti. Thanks for a nice idea although, personally, as wonderful as this simple recipe sounds, I would choose to focus every atomic particle of my body on the enjoyment of the music, saving the fruit for later, after the tears are gone.
lapadia June 3, 2010
Thanks for checking out the link, love the glossary, as I grew up with my Grandma Angelo's slang. I moved across the sound to the country life in Gig Harbor a little bit ago, do you know that area, if so, any restaurant suggestions? I visit the Eastside as much as I can so thanks for telling me about The Spanish Table; it is going on my list of things to do in the city...Happy Thrusday!
pierino June 3, 2010
In reciprocity, try this link http://zesterdaily.com/dining/527-13-ways-to-devour-seattle
lapadia June 2, 2010
Pierino, Hmmm, re: your “poor man’s version” & “we are not making salad dressing” note in step #4. My recipe “Strawberry Spring Greens” uses Balsamic Vinaigrette…FYI! As well, I also named my favorite Balsamic, tasty and affordable, recommended to me 20 (or more) years ago by the owner of an Italian market on the eastside of Seattle, and one that I have been very happy with; it too is a tenth of the price, “a poor person’s balsamic” shall we say? On another note: I would agree that the aceto balsamico tradizionale you use (or similar) is tasty, worth the price and should be used with an eye dropper. We once had a party guest show up with his little wooden crate of Balsamic, complete with a couple small shot glasses and what a delight and a privilege it was that he shared a taste (or two) with us all. It would please me if you could take a look at the link to my “poor person’s version Balsamic”. Thank You. http://www.melgabinternational.com/food/producers/medici_ermete/vecchia_aemilia_balsamic_vinegar_of_modena
pierino June 3, 2010
Lapadia, I did check your link. It's an interesting site and I like the fact that they offer a glossary of Italian food terms for those who don't speak or read Italian. BTW East Seattle is a cool place. I have good friends who live on the west side and I often cook up there. As you are in Seattle you might want to drop down to The Spanish Table and try out a good, mid-priced vinagre de jerez. I think it might surprise you.