By Emily Platt
I first fell in love with balsamic vinegar in my second year of university. (Yes, I went to college in Canada where we call it University. No, I don't pronounce about "aboot".) It was my first time living on my own, without a mom, dad or cafeteria to make me dinner. And for the first time I learned the joys of making my own salad dressing. I never loved creamy dressings, nor did I understand having anything too sweet on top of a bed of lettuce. So balsamic vinegar became my friend, a staple in my kitchen cabinets, and a wonderful jumping off point for further cooking experiments. All that said, I am so pumped that balsamic is back as an ingredient in one of Pleasant Pops new menu items, the Caprese sandwich.
With two old favorites, and one brand new sandwich, our lunch and dinner menu has just gone through it's first spring update. In addition to the Caprese, we're happy to reintroduce the Pimento Cheese sandwich and our newest creation, the Roasted Eggplant & Squash sandwich. For those of you who, like me, crave nothing more than a grilled cheese most days, I'll insist you give our pimento sandwich a try. Made in house, our pimento cheese is made from cheddar cheese, mayo, red peppers and some salt and pepper to taste. Once we add a few slices of fresh tomato and use Sourdough bread from Lyon bakery, you'll understand why they call pimento cheese the "caviar of the South".
The Roasted Eggplant & Squash sandwich is awesome. Using toasted ciabatta bread from Lyon bakery, we add a spread of house-made parsley tahini and a heaping pile of roasted veggies (eggplant, squash, zucchini and red onions). The balance of the zesty tahini with the herbaceousnecss found naturally in eggplant and squash makes for a healthy, and very fulfilling, bite. Finally, the aforementioned Caprese. Simply put we use our house-made walnut pesto, fresh mozzarella, some sliced tomato, and, obviously, a splash of balsamic vinegar on toasted ciabatta bread. A classic flavor profile that we just can't get enough of.
Stop by soon and try something new! And, on a very important side note, there are a few balsamic based pop flavors in the experimental phase...if you're as much of a balsamic fanatic as I am let us know on our Facebook page that you'd like to see a balsamic pop soon (maybe then everyone will stop thinking I'm crazy for even suggesting it!)