This lovely canapés are more than suitable for spring. The base is a delicious homemade nigella seed focaccia which is topped with tangy goat cheese, juicy strawberry slices, smoky Prosciutto roses, fresh mint ribbons and a balsamic vinegar reduction. I simply love balsamic vinegar reduction, it’s such a versatile condiment; its acid and slightly sweet taste and its unmistakable aroma go wonderfully with different types of cheese, vegetables and fruits and it tastes divine paired with vanilla-flavored desserts, too. Since it’s springtime and my garden abounds with flowers, I decided I should garnish my canapés with edible flowers, just for aesthetic reasons.
For my canapés I used homemade focaccia (I used this recipe). The only changes I’ve made are the following: I prepared the dough, I placed it in a bowl, I covered it with cling film and I refrigerated it overnight. The next morning I kneaded the dough and I rolled the bread, I garnished it with nigella seeds and I drizzled it with olive oil. After 1 hour of rising, I baked it for about 20 minutes.
I usually make my own balsamic vinegar reduction. I add 1 cup of balsamic vinegar to a saucepan and I boil it until the liquid becomes syrupy and reduces by 1/3 cup. I pour the reduction in a jar and I leave it to reach room temperature before refrigerating it. Since it thickens considerably as it cools down, I reheat it in warm water before using.
Balsamic vinegar reduction
Ingredients (for 80ml of final product):
- 1 cup of balsamic vinegar (240ml)
- Add the vinegar to a small saucepan. Take a toothpick and insert it in the saucepan (perpendicular to the saucepan’s bottom) to check the level – you can check the level several times throughout the boiling process to see how much it reduces).
- When the vinegar begins to simmer, reduce the heat to low – medium and simmer the liquid for 20 -25 minutes (depending on the size of the saucepan), stirring occasionally. When the liquid starts to thicken, check again the level with a clean toothpick.
- The reduction is ready when it’s syrupy and the volume has reduced by 1/3 (you can notice the marks on my toothpick in the photo).
- Leave the reduction to cool down to room temperature, place it in an airtight jar and refrigerate it until you’re ready to use.
Ingredients (for 4 servings):
- 8 thin focaccia rectangles
- 50g goat cheese
- 2 strawberries
- 4 slices of prosciutto crudo
- 2 – 3 mint leaves
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar reduction
- edible flowers (optional)
- Clean the strawberries, remove the stem and thinly slice them.
- Cut the mint leaves into small ribbons.
- Spread ½ tsp of goat cheese on each focaccia rectangle. Arrange the toppings mentioned above (strawberry, pea flower, mint ribbon, balsamic vinegar reduction / prosciutto slice, sage flower, mint ribbon, balsamic vinegar reduction).