We’ve been enjoying some yummy salads around here and one key ingredient is a balsamic reduction dressing. Reducing the vinegar helps with the bite, and makes for a really nice sauce straight on fresh peaches or grilled chicken, too.
Here’s how I make it:
I use a small 1.5 quart sauce pan and heat about 1/2″ balsamic vinegar (this is usually plenty for a meal + leftover dressing for the next day) over medium-low heat.
Gently simmer until the balsamic vinegar reduces by roughly 50% and holds tight to the back of a spoon. My 1/2″ is now 1/4″ inch (spoon test is also helpful here). When the vinegar begins to show bubbles across the top, it’s ready to pull from heat.
Two hints: don’t use a fancy balsamic vinegar, a generic brand is just great! Mix in herbs for a delicious twist. I especially love rosemary chopped very finely.
While still warm, I love to stir in two tablespoons of honey to offset the vinegar taste just a bit more.
For a creamier dressing, try adding 1/4 cup (or so) of mayo after the reduction has cooled down.
I sometimes mix this reduction with olive oil for salads or serve as-is with fresh mozzarella, basil and tomato slices. Sooooo delicious.