Tuco's Wine Market & Cafe, (the subject of another post coming your way soon) at 130 G Street in Davis, sells both an 8-year and a 12-year old Fondo Di Trebbiano Balsamic of Modena balsamic vinegar. Both are fabulously expensive and, for me, must haves for my pantry. At the moment I have the baby balsamic which set me back a whopping $58. Having just entered the world of hautes balsamics, on-line research shows a wide range of prices and, according to what I Googled, I got a good price by buying it at Tuco's.
When I bought a beautiful halibut fillet from our local co-op, I knew I would use a few precious drops of my newly purchased and closely guarded elixer to garnish the more modest balsamic glaze for the fish. I do believe I may use an eye-dropper to dispense this rich, syrupy-thick vinegar which has the lingering taste of ripe raspberries on its finish.
1/2 lb. Halibut fillet, about 1 1/2 inches thick
1 tablespoon "regular" (read everyday, inexpensive) balsamic vinegar 1 tablespoon good olive oil 1 clove garlic, minced Kosher salt and fresh ground Tellicherry pepper to taste
Make a marinade by combining the vinegar, oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl. Place the halibut in a lock top plastic bag and pour in the marinade. Lock the top and turn over several times to fully coat the fish. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. Prepare a small roasting pan by drizzling with a small amount of olive oil. Place the fish directly into the pan, juices and all, and roast in a hot oven (400 to 425 degrees) until flaky but still moist.
To plate, using your eye-dropper, place about 6 drops of your Fondo Di Trebbiano balsamic vinegar on the plate. Run the sharp tip of a knife through each drop, connecting the dots, so to speak.
We ate this with steamed artichokes, but I would also recommend slim green beans (haricot verts) sauteed in butter and topped with just a squeeze of Meyer lemon juice, a bit of the zest, and a few toasted, slivered almonds for flair.