Here in Umbria, pork is king, and the region is famous for its cured pork products as well as its roasted pork, particularly porchetta, and its sausages. It is very typical to see an appetizer on almost ever restaurant menu that includes a selection of local cured meats and cheeses, and the cured salami are made both from farmed pigs as well as wild boar. These salami can also be flavored with everything from local Sagrantino wine to shaved black truffles. When we have guests, we often serve Umbrian specialties, and this easy dish using a good quality mortadella, balsamic vinegar and a drizzle of olive oil is frequently on my menu. I first was served this appetizer at Osteria del Matto, a cute little restaurant in the heart of Spoleto about 5 years ago and have been making it ever since.
I almost didn’t post the recipe here on IFF as it really is so easy it probably shouldn’t be considered a true recipe, but I have been asked by almost everyone I serve it to how to make it, so here is my “recipe”. All you need is a good quality of Mortadella salami, preferable one with pistachio nuts and black pepper, a bottle of every day balsamic vinegar, and a little olive oil. Once you make this appetizer once, you can adjust the vinegar to meet your tastes, but do make lots, because it really is addictive!
Here in Italy, you can buy a large piece of mortadella that is easily cut into cubes. In the US mortadella is usually found at the deli counter and is sliced thin for sandwiches. When in the US, I simply ask the deli person to cut me a piece of mortadella with a thickness of an inch or an inch and a half.
Deborah Mele 2013
Balsamic Glazed Mortadella Bites
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Pound Mortadella Salami (see notes above), Rind Removed & Cut Into 1 1/2 Inch Cubes
- 3 to 4 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until smoking.
- Add the mortadella cubes, and cook, tossing the cubes often, until they are lightly browned on all sides.
- Add the balsamic vinegar and toss to coat.
- Cook for another minute or two until the vinegar thickens and coats the meat.
- Serve in a bowl immediately.