A balsamic vinaigrette dressing can turn a nominal green salad into a refreshing mixed fresh spring salad with a zest of Italian flair. Using an aged balsamic, adds a bit of gourmet into anyone’s kitchen. Send a bottle to a friend for a gift and you may turn their culinary world upside down.
“The keynote to happiness within the four walls that make any home is plain, wholesome, well cooked food, attractively served.” — Louis P. De Gouy
Balsamic Vinegar has an almost other worldly flavor that enhances nearly any food it touches. You can see a visible change on the face of someone who is trying Italian balsamic for the first time. Their face is transformed by awe and delight.
Cost and Quality
The cost of balsamic vinegar is tempered by the fact that a little bit goes a long way. Typical recipes use little more than ¼ cup of balsamic vinegar, so the cost of the bottle is generally offset by the long-term usefulness and good taste of the product.
You may be interested in knowing that balsamic vinegar is used for much more than an ingredient in salad dressings. For instance, aged balsamic vinegar can be added to a bowl of fresh strawberries.
If you are a fan of fresh vegetables you should know that balsamic vinegar can make a perfect marinade for grilled veggies such as bell peppers and eggplant. That same marinade can be used when grilling fish and chicken. Red meats can also gain a complimentary taste using an Italian balsamic like Villa Bellentani.
Adding balsamic vinegar to your favorite dish or recipe will, in fact, enhance the flavor, but heat mellows the taste and may be best applied after the cooking is finished.
The blending of balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil results in an incredible accent to fresh seafood as well as to fresh asparagus and artichokes.
There are even exclusive ice creams that use balsamic vinegar to create a one of kind desert. Such as drizzling a small amount of thick balsamic vinegar over vanilla ice cream is a popular dessert in Europe.
Beware though of the very inexpensive varieties due to the fact that they are often developed using caramelized brown sugar (to add color and sweetness) and common vinegar. They may also include preservatives that you could be allergic to.
Flavors Infused with Balsamic Vinegar
There is the traditional balsamic vinegar or you can buy those that are infused with different flavors such as but not limit too:
- Chile Balsamic Vinegar
- Garlic Cilantro Balsamic Vinegar
- Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar
- White Sesame Ginger Balsamic Vinegar
- Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar
- Cranberry Balsamic Vinegar
Balsamic Vinaigrette Made Easy
Should you desire a homemade bottle of balsamic vinaigrette the instructions are as follows:
- One part balsamic vinegar
- Four to five parts olive oil
- Season and pepper to taste
A teaspoon of mustard (Dijon is often preferred) per half cup of dressing
Additional ingredients can include chives, sage or finely chopped shallot or ginger root.
Image credit: cogipix / 123RF Stock Photo
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