Tomato Soffrito Bruschetta
Basil Pesto:4 cups packed fresh basil leaves, stems removed 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1/2 cup shredded parmesan 1 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon black pepper 2 clove garlic, chopped 1/3 cup toasted almonds 1 cup extra virgin olive oil In a food processor, puree all of the ingredients except the oil. Scrape down the sides several times and slowly add the olive oil last with the processor running. Use within 3 days or freeze for 3 months.
Tomato Soffrito:18 roma tomatoes, pedals separated from the seed pocket 2 shallots, sliced thin 5 cloves garlic, sliced thin 2 tablespoons Worcestershire 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 1 tablespoon salt 1/4 cup olive oil Place the seed pockets from the tomatoes in a small sauce pan and turn on high. Place remaining ingredients in an oven baking dish and cook in a 350 degree oven for 4 hours, stirring every thirty minutes. Once the seed pockets have reduced to a thick paste puree them and strain the seeds out. Put the puree in with the tomato pedals and finish the cooking process.
Balsamic Vinegar Pearls:100 g (7 oz) Balsamic Vinegar 1.5 g (1.5%) Agar Agar Oil Bath 1 cup of oil, cold from being in the freezer for at least 30 min Preparation:Start by placing the oil in a tall glass in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. It is better if you use a tall glass so there is more time for the balsamic vinegar droplets to get cold and gel before reaching the bottom. Once the oil has been in the freezer for at least 30 minutes, put the balsamic vinegar in a saucepan, dissolve the agar agar and bring it to the boil, stirring constantly with a beater. Take off the heat and skim to eliminate any impurities. Wait a few minutes until the temperature drops to 50-55 ?C (~120-130 ?F). If the liquid is too hot, the droplets may not cool down enough and therefore not gel completely before reaching the bottom of the glass resulting in deformed spheres. Fill a syringe with the hot balsamic agar solution and expel it drop by drop into the cold oil. The syringe needs to be high enough for the drops to sink when they get in contact with the oil but not too high or the drops may break into smaller drops creating ??baby?? spheres. Wait a few minutes and then carefully remove them from the oil bath using a slotted spoon and rinse them in water. You can keep them in a container in the fridge for later use.