Heart is a muscle, and it cooks and tastes accordingly. I love thin strips of heart, marinated with a little oil, a little acidic vinegar and some sugar to help it caramelize over a hot grill.
Serve the pine nut aioli (there will be extra) with skewers of heart, grilled tenderloin or on a porchetta sandwich.
Serves 4-6 as an appetizer
2-3 wild boar hearts, about 1 pound, cleaned of all connective tissue and fat and sliced into 1/4-inch thick strips
6-10 wooden skewers, soaked in water
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp brown sugar
1 small sprig rosemary, leaves only, chopped
1 nice egg yolk
Juice and zest of 1⁄2 lemon
1 tbsp sherry or red wine vinegar
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
6 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted and cooled
3⁄4 cup olive oil
1⁄2 tsp smoked paprika
Season the heart with salt and pepper. Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a small bowl and marinate the strips of heart for at least 2 hours or up to a day, then thread them onto the soaked skewers.
Get a grill really hot while you make the aïoli. Combine the egg yolk, juice, zest, vinegar, pine nuts, garlic and one tablespoon water in a blender, or in a glass pint jar if using an immersion blender. Puree this to a paste, then very slowly begin adding the olive oil, drop by drop at first, then in a steady stream as the aïoli starts to become creamy, emulsified and very smooth. Adjust the seasoning with salt and refrigerate until ready to use.
Grill the skewers over high heat until charred and just cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Sprinkle the paprika over the aioli, then serve with the grilled heart.