Balsamic vinegar may mistakenly stay hidden in many pantries due to the misunderstanding that it is only useful to drizzle over a Caprese salad or use occasionally in a marinade. The reality is that high-quality dark balsamic vinegar should be seen as a staple in every kitchen because it is so versatile. Here are three unique ways to discover more about the amazing range of balsamic vinegar.
Make a Glaze
Balsamic vinegar is the perfect base for a sweet and savory syrup or glaze. It is the perfect final touch for a variety of desserts. Add a cup of balsamic to a small saucepan with about 2-3 tablespoons of sugar and reduce to the desired syrupy consistency. Additional seasonings like honey, cinnamon and ginger can also be added. Top pastries, ice cream, or fruit with the finished glaze.
Mix a Cocktail
Vinegar may not be everyone's idea of the perfect beverage addition, but many people are enjoying the "shrub" trend. Since balsamic vinegar is known to pair nicely with strawberries, this is a great first balsamic cocktail for people to experiment with on their own. Slice up strawberries, add sugar and allow the mix to sit in the refrigerator overnight. Crush and strain the liquids from the strawberries and add to the mixture an equal amount of balsamic vinegar. Allow the flavors to meld together in the refrigerator for several days before adding it to a mixture of gin or vodka and club soda. Garnish with strawberries and basil.
Craft a Dip
Make a unique dipping sauce with balsamic and peanut butter. Chop about a half cup of peanuts, three cloves of garlic and a teaspoon of ginger in a food processor until smooth and add peanut oil, soy sauce and balsamic vinegar while still blending. Add enough of each of the liquids to keep the product to the consistency of peanut butter. Warm one cup of milk, one tablespoon of sesame oil and two tablespoons of water in a small pot. Add the peanut mixture once the sauce is near boiling. Whisk briskly to incorporate all of the ingredients. Turn off the heat before it begins to boil. Serve immediately with raw vegetables or cooked shrimp.
Avoid generic balsamic brands found at supermarkets. Instead, search the Internet for gourmet, dark balsamic vinegar. This will ensure the best flavor and help to produce the best results in any recipe. Vinegar has an extremely long shelf life and amazing versatility so it is an investment that is worth keeping in the pantry. Check with companies like Peak Olive Oil for more information.