Monday, November 3, 2008

Balsamic Reduction

I remember a couple years ago I heard about balsamic reduction. I made it and put some over roasted butternut squash. It was amazing. Sweet and salty and a little sour. I fell in love with it. Then, this past winter I was watching an episode of Gordon's Ramseys show, Kitchen Nightmares. In one of the episodes the chef relied too heavily on balsamic reduction. In Gordon's opinion he masked the unsavory flavor of whatever he was pouring it over. Gads, I love balsamic reduction. But I guess it could be misused.

I'll tell you, here in this recipe it doesn't mask, it compliments. Okay, maybe it masks a little of the cabbagey flavor but in some people's opinion that is probably a good thing. It's rather easy to make. In my version I add brown sugar to offset the acid of the vinegar. We love the result. I think you will too.

Lori's Lipsmacking Goodness Original

1 1/2 cups balsamic vinegar
1/4 to 1/2 cup of brown sugar (to your liking)

Bring vinegar to a boil, turn down the heat and let it simmer. When it reduces halfway, add brown sugar. Simmer some more until it becomes syrupy and sticks to the back of a wooden spoon. As it cools it will thicken up. Store leftovers in frig.


kat said...

I love brussel sprouts & can only imagine they are made better with that sauce!

The Blonde Duck said...

Why is it called reduction??

Lori said...

The blonde duck- you reduce the vinegar, meaning you boil out the liquid or water. It gets thicker in the process. The flavor intensifies as it goes.

Lucy said...

I just love using this type of reduction on vegetables or meats & poultry. mmmmmmm ; )

Shelly said...

I made this a few years ago for our garden party, we all loooved it. I served it drizzled over mushroom/sausage filo triangles in a puddle of gorgonzola cream and topped it with micro greens - it was wicked good! Sure wish I knew where I put those recipes, just typing this makes me want to make it again.

Kevin said...

Balsamic reduction is so good!

Deborah said...

This sounds so good - I bet it would be good on many things!

Tracy said...

This is too funny .... I was experimenting with a recipe tonight and one of my notes was ... "maybe add a balsamic reduction?" Yum -- it makes everything better.

Jude said...

This is one of the first things that come to mind whenever I hear the word reduction... Does a lot of wonderful things.

rachael said...

My good friends make homemade pizza and use balsamic reduction drizzled on the crust as the sauce. It is divine! Top with spinach, mozzarella, goat cheese (or Feta to your liking) and tomatoes (or anything else you might like).

Tim said...

Thanks for the recipe. It was SO easy and amazing! I also used it as a salad dressing along with my brussel sprouts!

Anonymous said...

I found a website that has many different types of flavored balsamic recently and ordered some offline. The website is The tangerine is really good reduced and on salmon.

ThreadBeaur said...

We are having brussel sprouts tonight. I am going to make the balsamic reduction right now. Looks so good, and I bet it is delicious!

Lori said...

Rachael- I keep thinking about this idea of yours and soon it is going to materialize in my kitchen.

Tim- you are so welcome I am glad to hear you enjoyed it.

nethinggoes99- that sounds very good. Why not add some orange juice to the reduction as well. You could reduce it alone and add to the balsamic. OR you could add orange zest to the balsamic.

Threadbeaur- I hope you like it. I know it is one of my favorites. I like it on roasted butternut squash as well.

M said...

Thanks so much for this -- I served it with an antipasto platter for drizzling and it was a real hit!

Bonnie said...

Trying this: halve peaches, coat the flat sides and middle w/ olive oil.. grill. Then add blue cheese crumbles to the center... let that melt, and top the whole thing w/ balsamic reduction. Sound so good, no?

Lori said...

M- thank you- I am glad to hear it and what a great idea.

Bonnie- sounds good, yes! What a tastey and brilliant idea. I bet the flavors play quite nicely with each other.

magfo said...

I am making a dinner at the weekend, the starter beeing creamy garlic mushrooms served in a croissant with rocket,watercress & spinach salad leaves. I know I need some sort of balsamic dressing to cut into the creamy mixture, will this do it? How long will it last in the fridge if I was to make it tonight to test it?

Lori said...

Magfo- What a great idea. I bet that will be absolutely delicious! I have kept my balsamic reduction successfully for 6 months plus in the frig. The vinegar acts as a natural preservative.

magfo said...

Thanks Lori, looking forward to trying it.
And if it's successful, I can see me having this drizzled on many other dishes!

magfo said...

Oh no, tried this last night and I must have gone wrong. It turned out like black treacle with a hint of vinegar. I didn't have the full measurement of vinegar left, so used 1/2 cup of that, and then what I thought was about a third of a 1/4 cup of brown sugar. I'm guessing my problem is too much sugar? Anyone else had this problem? I was also using quite cheap balsamic. Would that have made a difference? Help, I need this to turn out perfect before the weekend.

Lori said...

Magfo- the trick is to not cook it too long. I did that one time and had to toss the whole thing. The cooking time really isnt too long. The brown sugar helps in the thickening process.

Lynn said...

Found it! Thanks, Lori. Man, some of these ideas here sound good :) I have been missing out, not knowing about balsamic reductions. Still so much to learn. Thanks for the continuing education.

Elizabeth said...

Tried your recipe today! I didn't know how long it would take, but it took about 2 hours to fully reduce, which I did not realize! Good thing I started early. I made a salad of baby greens, gorgonzola, candied almonds, strawberries, and pear. I drizzled a little olive oil, then some of the reduction. It was so incredibly tastey!! I have some reduction left over, so I am planning on drizzling it over skewered tomato, basil, and mozzarella appetizers. Thanks again!!

Lori said...

Elizabeth- Thank you for your feedback. The heat may not have been high enough. It has to simmer so that the liquid can evaporate. That may have been the reason it took longer.

It keeps for a seriously long time. so you can enjoy it on many things. I am glad you liked it.

sue said...

I have a recipe from a long long time ago that calls for adding a bit of butter after the vinegar has reduced but is still warm, then serving over grilled sweet potato slices. Very decadent, but amazing! I can't wait to try it on brussels sprouts.

Lori said...

Sue- I bet it does amp up the flavor. I will have to try that. I have been roasting a lot of sweet potatoes lately.

haleyclayton said...

I'm making this now to drizzle over goat cheese stuffed cherry tomatoes

smita sharma said...

It's funny that you mentioned this, because I was going to state this in my initial post, that there are people who get Lip reduction procedures, because they want smaller lips, but my problem is just the opposite.

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