Balsamic glaze is so amazing and is incredibly easy to make! Also, commonly called balsamic reduction. That being exactly what it is, a reduction of balsamic vinegar. This one ingredient is simply simmered over heat to be reduced and thickened to a syrupy consistency giving it a deep, slightly sweet concentrated flavor.
It all starts with balsamic vinegar which has such a unique taste to begin with. It compliments olive oil dips perfectly and is a great salad dressing among other things, however, my favorite way to use it is as a glaze – balsamic glaze! There is a thickness to it and has an earthy, tart, yet subtle sweetness that compliments so many things! It tastes amazing, but it’s also gorgeous! It has a mesmerizing sheen and a deep dark reddish, purple color.
It’s so easy to make and quick. It literally is one ingredient (just the balsamic vinegar), a few minutes on the stove and you have something that can change the taste of a whole dish. Note: additional sweeteners can be added such as honey or sugar if you desire. Add 1/2 tablespoon for every cup of balsamic vinegar.
Start with a bottle of balsamic vinegar – it doesn’t need to be anything fancy. There are so many different brands it can be a bit overwhelming just picking a bottle, but pick your favorite. Any of them will work well!
Measure out one cup of balsamic vinegar and pour it in a small saucepan. You will want to bring it to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce the heat to low after it has boiled for a minute or so. Keep it on low for 15 to 20 minutes and stir occasionally. You will know it’s done when it coats the back of a spoon and is the consistency of maple-syrup. Keep an eye on it the last few minutes and keep your eyes in it! If the glaze overcooks or burns you will not be able to salvage it. Also, it’s also good to know that as the balsamic glaze cools, it will thicken even more as well. If, for some reason, your glaze gets over done a bit and gets a little too thick, just add a touch of balsamic vinegar to thin it out.
A side note: The time it takes to reduce the balsamic vinegar into a glaze varies greatly I have found, so watch it closely when it hits the 12 to 15 minute mark. This is because of the size of the burners and the surface area of your saucepan used. I have some big burners and a super tiny one – so, there’s heat variation, but a bigger saucepan with a greater surface area will also allow the balsamic vinegar to reduce faster since it is spread out thinner. So, don’t get discouraged if yours takes longer or even a shorter time to make!
Once it is done, cool it down completely. I like to place mine in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes.
Top Your Favorites with Balsamic Glaze!
Once cooled, it is ready to top your favorites – Caprese Salad (my all time favorite – possibly my favorite thing to eat ever!), fruit such as strawberries or cantaloupe, various panini sandwiches, cheeses… the sky is the limit!
You can store your homemade Balsamic Glaze in the refrigerator for up to 6 weeks. If you go through it a lot feel free to double the recipe or make the whole bottle of balsamic vinegar into balsamic glaze – just add a bit more time and watch it close until it is syrupy!
Balsamic glaze is perfect to have on hand and so easy to make anytime!
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