So it is lunch time and you once again return to the cupboard and pull out that bottle of balsamic to dress yet another salad. Well, it is safe to say that there are many more ways that you can enjoy the sweet and tangy flavour of balsamic vinegar – did we just see you eyes widen?
But what is balsamic vinegar anyway? It is a reduction made from grapes, but it is not considered a wine vinegar because the grape juice is used unfermented. The unfermendted white sweet grape juice hat is used is called "must'' and comes from Trebbiano grapes.
Here are five ways you can use balsamic vinegar:
To finish soups and sauces
We all love drizzling balsamic vinegar over our freshly picked 'Roma' tomatoes. Well why not add a splash of balsamic end the end of cooking a tomato-based soup. This will bring all the flavours together.
In braised dishes
Adding balsamic vinegar at the end of cooking adds a dash of brightness. Have you though about using even a little of balsamic as part of the liquid in a braise? Well, try it. It will give the whole dish a deep, rich yet slightly sweet flavour. Wine is made from grapes, yes? Well so is balsamic. So think of it like wine and add it along with the broth.
Reduce to a syrup
Reduced balsamic is so yummy when drizzled over vanilla gelato – matched with strawberries and it is heavenly! If you have a basic balsamic then reducing it will be ideal, just pour a cup or so into a small sauce pan with some sugar and let it reduce until syrupy, then chill before using. If you have a good aged balsamic or a Saba, then there is no need to reduce it.
Marinating it for meat and tofu
Combine some shallots, a dollop of mustard and balsamic and you have a delicious marinade. This combination is perfect for red meats and steaks – for those vegetarians, try it on tofu or large portobello mushrooms.
A sprinkle of balsamic vinegar on fresh sliced strawberries or raspberries with a bit of sugar really brings out the flavour of the fruit and will have you addicted.
Click here to view our range of balsamic vinegar's