Massimo Bottura's Tangy Addition For Elevated Scrambled Eggs

Italy's Emilia-Romagna region is known as the breadbasket of Italy since the craft of making fine cheeses, wine, and other region-specific ingredients in the region is revered. In fact, according to Eataly, 26 products from the area are geographically protected by Italian law, including Modena's aceto balsamico. Emilia-Romagnans drizzle their beloved balsamic vinegar over lots of traditional dishes, and many restaurants bring out the good stuff much like it was fresh cracked pepper at an American restaurant. 

World-renowned chef Massimo Bottura was also born and raised in Modena. His attention to such artful gastronomy started right out his back door where families such as Pedroni and Valeri have been making balsamic vinegar for generations. Usually made from the local Lambrusco or Trebbiano grape varietals, balsamic vinegar takes a minimum of 12 years to mature resulting in a pretty hefty price of upwards $200 per ounce. 

Most of us probably don't have balsamic vinegar that fancy in our pantry, but that's okay too. Bottura doesn't recommend cooking with it anyway. Instead, he says to use younger, more affordable balsamic vinegar for dishes such as scrambled eggs. Yep! You read that right — and, Bottura has more than a few thoughts on the subject. 

Massimo Bottura's secret for a special brunch

Bottura explains that because of its balance and acidity, high-quality, aged (ie expensive) balsamic vinegar should be saved and used as is to top dishes. He tells Gourmet Traveller, "It never expires, and it's a precious thing."

When you want to get creative and get cooking Bottura recommends using younger, more affordable balsamic vinegar to elevate simple dishes like scrambled eggs or omelets, while reserving the good for particular applications. He suggests cooking a thinly sliced onion and shallot in a pan with a younger balsamic vinegar while also making either scrambled eggs or an omelet with Parmigiano. He then says to combine the two, adding the balsamic-onion mixture on top or folding it into the omelet. Finally, that aged balsamic can come into play: top off your egg dish with a touch of the expensive stuff. "You're gonna die," Bottura says. 

You might not actually die at this Bottura-inspired dish, but you sure will feel as though you've gone to heaven.