Try this lovely balsamic reduction with fruit, on salads, drizzled on grilled chicken, etc. The possibilities are endless!
I’ve always been a fan of using inexpensive balsamic vinegar for adding flavor and tenderness to meats and veggies, but it wasn’t until recently that I was introduced to the fantastic flavor that can be achieved with a simple balsamic reduction. Considering how easy it is to make, I can guarantee that my kitchen will not be without it ever again!
Unlike real balsamic vinegar, which must be aged for a minimum of 12 years and can cost upwards of $150, the balsamic vinegar that you’re probably most familiar with is a condimento grade balsamic vinegar. I pick this grade up regularly at Walmart, and it only costs around $3 per bottle — BIG savings there!
Condiment grade balsamic vinegar is great in marinades, salad dressings, dips, etc., but reducing it slowly over low heat turns into a lovely syrup that’s an amazing accompaniment to both sweet and savory dishes. Seriously, give it a try with fresh strawberries some time!
Simply pour about one cup of balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan, and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn it down to low, and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the balsamic vinegar reduces to a thick syrup that can coat the back of a spoon. Watch it carefully toward the end of the cooking time, as it can quickly progress to a burnt mess if you step away for too long! Also, keep in mind that it will continue to thicken up as it cools.
This balsamic reduction can be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks. If it thickens up a little too much after sitting, you can warm it up a bit over low heat or stir in a little water to thin it out.
Some of my favorite uses for the resulting balsamic reduction are with strawberries or pears, over a lovely caprese salad (or these Grilled Caprese Tomato Kabobs!), drizzled on grilled chicken, and especially these delicious little baked brie bites, a fantastic holiday appetizer. Give it a try and let me know what you think!