Balsamic vinegar uses: recipes and flavorful tips!
Two ingredients cannot miss in every average Italian pantry: extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. If extra virgin olive oil is produced in abundance every year and tastes better when consumed immediately after pressing, balsamic vinegar follows the rule "the older, the better". The "Italian black gold" is indeed a reduction of grape must, which is cooked down and then aged in a series of casks made from different types of wood for a period ranging from 4 years to even fifty years. The longer it ages, the stronger it tastes and the more precious it becomes. If you are curious about balsamic vinegar uses, we have some suggestions of the most common and less common recipes using balsamic vinegar to enhance your everyday dishes: from salad dressing and vinaigrette to unique desserts and even cocktails with balsamic vinegar!
How to use balsamic vinegar in your daily cooking
If you've never used this refined product, you may have doubts on how to use balsamic vinegar, how much you should use, and where to store it. There are two alternatives when it comes to balsamic vinegar uses: it can be used during the cooking process or raw. When used raw, a good rule of thumb is just one teaspoon per person to enhance the dish. Instead, if you want to use it in your recipes we suggest using only a few spoonful at the end of the cooking process. Are you wondering how to store balsamic vinegar? You'll be glad to know that there is nothing to worry about! In the past vinegar was largely used as a natural preservative and still today is the basis of delicious "conserve" so we can say that it does not need any special attention: just be careful to always close the bottle with its cork and to avoid the refrigerator or too cold temperatures.
Balsamic vinegar salad dressing: the traditional use
The most traditional use of balsamic vinegar is, of course, as salad dressing. The traditional way of dressing salads in Italy calls indeed for extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar a pinch of salt and nothing else. However, if you are looking for a balsamic vinaigrette recipe you can try one using just a handful of ingredients: extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, black pepper and - if you have at your disposal - mustard for a balsamic vinaigrette that can also be used for a good "pinzimonio". This wonderful appetizer is very popular in Italy and consists in dipping any fresh vegetables you prefer into vinaigrette. We suggest you dipping celery, carrots, fennel, radishes and red peppers: an easy and healthy way of eating raw vegetables that is also incredibly delicious.
Recipes with balsamic vinegar that you are going to love
Even if balsamic vinegar is most common used as a dressing for salad and vegetables, there are many other recipes with balsamic vinegar that we love. It works amazingly as a marinade for steaks because it helps tenderize the meat and gives instant flavor but it can also be added to soups and stew to intensify their flavor and add sweetness. Other balsamic vinegar uses? It is perfect to elevate your braised dishes as a substitute of wine to give the whole dish a deep, rich, slightly sweet flavor. Lastly, if you want to add a glamour touch to your dishes, you can create your own balsamic glaze: reduce balsamic vinegar into a thick sauce to create a syrup that can accompany simple dishes like grilled meat or fish.
Strawberries with balsamic vinegar: the perfect match
Have you ever seen Italians eating desserts with balsamic vinegar? Many people may be skeptical about this weird pairings but the truth is that balsamic vinegar instantly adds a welcoming acidity and enhance the sweetness of many fruits and recipes. The classic pair is strawberries with balsamic vinegar, but you can also try a drizzle over peaches, apricots and wildberries or even to a delicious fruit salads - add a few mint leaves for a unique summery flavor. Talking about summer, here is another unmissable combination: vanilla ice cream with balsamic vinegar and fresh strawberries. We can assure you that this contrast of flavors between sweet and sour will amaze and conquer everyone - with no effort and no need to cook!
Cocktails with balsamic vinegar: the odd couple
You didn't expect that you could make cocktails with balsamic vinegar, right? Even if it seems an odd ingredient to add in a cocktail, balsamic vinegar's production process is similar to the wines and vermouths ones, thus making it a perfect ingredients to be added to your favorite drinks. Thanks to its beautifully complex and intense flavor, it can be used to add an extra touch and give an unexpected twist to your bloody mary, gin tonic or prosecco. But the balsamic vinegar uses are not limited to alcoholic when it comes to drink: you can prepare a incredibly refreshing and alcohol-free drink by adding a few drops of balsamic vinegar to iced soda water... perfect for the hottest summer days!