Organising a dinner to cater to friends with gourmet taste buds can be a rather daunting prospect especially if you are used to easy-going, casual dinners with friends. However, one thing about this gourmet meal is certain; it will be something truly special.
Now, when it comes to planning your meal, don’t waste time thinking about who knows what or making an inordinately long shopping list. Instead, focus on choosing one ingredient to be the star of the evening and experiment with a little creativity.
A great option could be balsamic vinegar. With its unique and subtle taste, it is the epitome of elegance and the perfect dressing for a wide range of dishes from the most traditional to the most peculiar.
It is a real wildcard in the kitchen that is able to enhance all manner of flavours from strong to subtle! Here are some tips and tricks that will help you organise the perfect dinner with balsamic vinegar as the star of the show.
Dinner ideas to make a different type of evening
There are so many dinner ideas from which you can take inspiration when organising and hosting an evening for fine food connoisseurs.
A rustic tasting
If you want to amaze and delight your guests and host a truly original evening, different from the norm, you could offer a balsamic vinegar tasting. You could let your guests try different types of vinegar, combined with various appetisers such as bruschetta with vegetables (perhaps cherry tomatoes or peppers) and puff pastry rolls filled with cheese.
The combination of rustic food with a high-quality vinegar is a match made in heaven!
A gourmet aperitivo
If you want to opt for something a little more elegant and filling, a gourmet aperitivo could be the perfect solution. If you have ever visited Italy, you will know that aperitivo is the pinnacle of the Italian culture and making an aperitivo at home couldn’t be simpler. All you need is a glass of wine with some little nibbles that are dressed with a little of our familiar friend. It will make for a unique and appetising dining experience.
Grilled vegetables and canapes are a must on these occasions as well as a board of mixed cheeses and cured meats. I mean what could be more appetising to taste (and look at) than a board laden with prosciutto or lard with a sprinkling of parmesan shavings and a drizzle of vinegar?
In essence, the star of the evening must be present throughout the aperitivo. You can also look for recipes and ingredients that pair well with that unmistakable taste, for instance, chestnuts wrapped in bacon with rosemary are the perfect finger food.
A sophisticated dinner
An interesting alternative is to organise a sophisticated dinner.
In this case, the dishes are different from those that we have already looked at. They should be less rustic and more conceptual, more gourmet. Moreover, there should be more attention to detail when preparing the dishes as well as when presenting them.
Let’s look at some examples of recipes that are particularly suited to sophisticated dinners, starting from appetisers all the way through to desserts.
- Appetisers: a parmesan basket with a crisp apple salad given a special touch with a splash of balsamic vinegar
- Starter: pumpkin soup with crunchy bacon pieces
- Main course: salmon tartare with panzanella (a Tuscan salad made with vegetables, bread and dressing) and beef tartare with parmesan shavings and crumbled pistachios
- Dessert: vanilla or strawberry ice cream and caramelised strawberries
A very fancy gift
What better way to round off the perfect dinner than by giving your guests something to remember the evening? A bottle of balsamic vinegar will be greatly appreciated by your guests and will ensure that they don’t forget this gourmet experience. Just remember to opt for something high-end!
As you can see, there are many ways to use and incorporate this vinegar into your dinner party. There are many recipes and dishes that are enhanced and given a more elegant touch by this dressing. Well, now it’s time that you organise a dinner and put the prestigious “black gold” on the table.