5 holiday appetizers made better with balsamic

Dec 17 2020, 5:01 pm

A little drizzle can go a long way. That’s one of the things we appreciate about cooking with balsamic so much: that trickle of sweetness and acidity can transform the simplest of dishes.

These days, our go-to balsamic glaze is Nonna Pia’s, a Canadian brand operating out of Whistler, BC. It first began in Modena, Italy (the birthplace of balsamic) when its founder fell in love with the deep, rich flavour of Balsamico Traditionale.

Fast forward to 2014 when the husband and wife duo behind the recipe appeared on Dragon’s Den, receiving praise and backing from the show’s tough critics. Since then, the brand has gone from weekend farmers’ markets to pantry shelf staple.

With the holidays near, we’re looking forward to elevating our appy-hour recipes with a little help from the secret weapon that is Nonna Pia’s.

Caprese skewers


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This fun take on a summer time favourite makes for an elegant winter appetizer. It’s also delightfully simple and involves putting cherry tomatoes, bocconcini cheese, and fresh basil on wooden skewers. To top it all off, drizzle some Classic Balsamic Glaze for an elevated dish that’s perfect for nibbling on in one hand and sipping from your wine with the other.

French baguette

As the story goes, Nonna Pia’s recipe was mastered when its chef began trying to emulate the unforgettable taste of the balsamic he sampled in Italy. Working to refine it, he used dinner parties as an opportunity to test out his creations, shaping the glaze into the perfect dinner party (virtual, or not) companion.

All you need is a loaf of fresh, crusty baguette, olive oil, and some balsamic glaze added into the oil and you have yourself a holiday appetizer as impressive as it is easy to throw together — all thanks to fresh, quality ingredients.

Soft boiled eggs with avo


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Adorably, Nonna Pia’s derives its name from its founders’ mother who inspired a family to cook from a young age. This healthy recipe is a twist on soft boiled eggs that involves a bed of freshly-cut avocado, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and a drizzle of Nonna Pia’s for good measure.

The acidity of the glaze will complement the natural avocado fats and add a rich texture that ties the dish together. You can also add toothpicks to each bite for easy sharing.

Veggie stack

This veggie-forward finger food involves grilling portobello mushroom, asparagus, zucchini, yellow and red pepper, and red onion in olive oil. To finish things off, add gooey melted brie, salt and pepper, and — of course — a trickle of balsamic glaze for a truly restaurant-worthy appetizer. It makes for the ultimate healthy but hardy holiday comfort food.

Prosciutto-wrapped melon


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With this appy, you don’t have to make up your mind between sweet and savoury. In fact, when you’re working with balsamic glaze, you rarely do. The rich reduction tends to complement both palates nicely.

Slice some honeydew and cantaloupe, wrap it in prosciutto, and drizzle some balsamic glaze over top for an easy-to-prepare platter. The many different textures and flavours are what make it so satisfying and delicious.

Nonna Pia’s Italian-inspired recipe has quickly ascended the ranks and become a kitchen must-have.

Experiment with it in your own holiday recipes for dishes that are sure to please. Spread the secret by making it the ultimate stocking stuffer or by gifting a bottle to your loved ones this season.

You can head to NonnaPias.com to learn more and snatch a bottle (or three) in time for the holidays.

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