Have you ever heard the term The Holy Trinity of Flavor? In her book, My New Roots: Inspired Plant-Based Recipes for Every Season, Sarah Britton talks about how to enrich your cooking with using a simple technique.
The story is that she gets a job in one of her favorite restaurants in Copenhagen as a cook. On her first day on the job, she makes a big batch of soup that she thought would blow away her coworker Daniel. However, after a quick taste he asks her, “What is your acid?” As she was caught by surprise, she responds, “My what?”
Later he explains that in anything she makes, if she wants to hit all notes and ensure that it doesn’t feel like something is missing, she should include three things in every recipe. And those are salt, sugar, and acid, or what Sarah calls: The Holly Trinity of Flavor.
Following his advice, Sarah goes back to her soup and pours a couple glugs of apple cider vinegar into it. After a quick sip she says, “Almost like a miracle, the taste goes from good to wow.”
Since the day I read about this technique, I started paying more to the rule of The Holly Trinity of Flavor. And I have to admit – it made a tremendous difference in my cooking. Who would know something so simple would make such a big difference?
You may ask, “What are some ingredients that I can use as salt, sugar, and acid?” The following is a list of options that I use, some of which are additions to Sarah’s list:
Sweet: honey, maple syrup, dates, coconut sugar and nectar, fruit juice, apple juice, brown rice syrup, natural fruit juices, granulated sugar (as a last option)
Salt: sea salt (such as –my favorite- Malton salt), soy sauce, miso paste, tamari
Acid: lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, ume plum vinegar
About this Strawberry-Ricotta Bruschetta with Homemade Balsamic Reduction Recipe:
So as I was looking for a way to use the leftover strawberries from last week’s recipe (summer berry tart) for a party that we were invited, I knew I had to find a way to ensure that every single flavor note was included in my recipe for it to have the wow factor. As this was for a crowd, I decided to make a luxurious bruschetta that follows Sarah’s technique. To do that, I spread some homemade ricotta cheese on slices of thick toasted French baguette, topped them off with fresh peppery arugula and sliced strawberries (and some leftover pomegranate seeds), and then drizzled each slice with some balsamic reduction that I quickly made on the stovetop. And finally, for the “wow” factor, I sprinkled them with some coarse sea salt.
It ended up being a delicious finger food and a crowd pleaser that got some raving reviews from the people in the party. Many of them even asked for the recipe. So if you are getting ready to host a summer party or looking for a way to use some of the strawberries that are in abundance during this time of the year, why not give this bruschetta recipe a try?
Strawberry-Ricotta Bruschetta with Homemade Balsamic Reduction
For the Balsamic Reduction:
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice freshly squeezed
For the Bruschetta:
- 1 large French baguette sliced into 1-inch thick slices
- 1-1/2 cups whole-milk ricotta cheese preferably homemade
- 2 cups arugula washed and spin-dried
- 3 pints fresh strawberries* hulled and sliced into small cubes
- 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds optional
- Maldon or any other coarse salt
- Place balsamic vinegar, sugar, and lemon juice in a saucepan. Heat in medium heat. Let it simmer until it is reduced by half, 10-15 minutes. Transfer it to a bowl (or a glass jar) and let it cool on the kitchen counter.
- Meanwhile, arrange baguette slices on a baking sheet and broil them until golden brown, 1-2 minutes on each side. Alternatively, you can toast them in a toaster or grill them on a grill.
- Spread each slice with a generous layer of ricotta cheese. Top them off with arugula, strawberries, and pomegranate seeds (if using).
- Drizzle each slice with balsamic reduction and sprinkle with Maldon salt.
- Serve immediately.