This appetizer from Reggio shows off two of Emilia-Romagna's most renowned foods, a stunning Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and the lushest of artisan-made Balsamic vinegars. There is no cooking, and the dish is assembled effortlessly.
Working Ahead: The antipasto is best assembled and then eaten right away.
Assembling and Serving the Antipasto: Shortly before dining, halve and core the pears, leaving their skins intact. Then slice each halve into long thin slivers. Drizzle with a little lemon juice to keep from turning brown. Fan out about 4 or 5 pieces of pears on each of six salad plates. At the base of the fan place a knob of cheese. Moisten each chunk with a few drops of balsamic vinegar, and serve.
Wine Suggestions: Drink a white Sauvignon Blanc from the Bolognese hills or one from Friuli.
Cook's Notes: If you are using a commercial balsamic vinegar, blend 1/4 teaspoon dark brown sugar with l tablespoon of vinegar.
From The Splendid Table: Recipes from Emilia-Romagna, the Heartland of Northern Italian Food by Lynne Rossetto Kasper (Morrow, 1992). © 1992 by Lynne Rossetto Kasper. All rights reserved.
Adam Rapoport, editor in chief of Bon Appetit magazine and the website www.bonappetit.com, knows his way around a grill. He has edited an entire book on the subject: The Grilling Book: The Definitive Guide from Bon Appetit.