Balsamic vinegar is a flavorful reduction made from grapes. It’s often used as a tangy addition to salad dressing, but it can also be valuable in many other ways during the cooking process. Here are a few unique ways balsamic vinegar can be that secret ingredient to liven up your next recipe.
- Reduce the vinegar to a syrup. Reduced balsamic goes great over fruit salad or a bowl of vanilla ice cream! Reducing balsamic only takes a few minutes. Simply add about a cup of balsamic vinegar to a sauce pan, bring to a boil then simmer on low for 2-4 minutes until the consistency of the liquid is thicker and syrupy. Adding a little sugar and cinnamon can provide one more layer of flavor when using the syrup on fruits or desserts. One cup of balsamic makes about 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar syrup.
- Marinate meats and vegetables. Balsamic vinegar and garlic are a great marinade to tenderize and add flavor to steak, veal, tofu or chicken. My favorite vegetable to marinade in balsamic vinegar are portobello mushrooms, onions and tomatoes.
- Finish a soup, salad or entree. An aged balsamic can be an excellent finishing ingredient. When the cooking process is complete, just before you serve your favorite soup or main entree drizzle a little aged balsamic on the top. It can help bring favors together and add a colorful zip to any recipe.
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