Halfway between Modena and Bologna, you’ll find the home of La Cà dal Nôn (The House of the Grandfather) who have produced traditional balsamic vinegar of Modena for generations.
Traditional Modena balsamics can be found in two forms: “younger” aged 12 years or more and “extravecchio” aged 25 years or more. These are not the average vinegars found in your local supermarket. These are artisanal products; the result of generations of refinement. And a little bit goes a long way. “Franco” is a perfect go between the younger and older balsamic, best used whenever you want to give a fruity note to your dishes. Here is a family recipe straight from Modena, also using “SABA” produced from their pure grape must:
Pears & Parmigiano Crostini
4 slices of wholewheat bread
1 pear, skinless and quartered longways
3 tbsp SABA
juice of 1 lemon
60 gr Noto almonds
4 tbsp of Red Cow cheese or Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
extra-virgin olive oil
Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena FRANCO
In a bowl, marinade the pear slices with 2 tbsp SABA, 1 tbsp olive oil, lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Blend the almonds, 4 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp SABA, salt and pepper into a smooth paste, eventually adding a little water. Grill the pear slices on a piping hot griddle pan or bake them for 10 mins in hot oven at 180°C, softening them, but still with a bite.
To prepare the crostini, put a little almond paste on each bread slice, then a grilled pear slice and 1 tbsp of the grated cheese. Grill in the oven for 3 minutes and serve hot with drops of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena “Franco”.