What to do with Balsamic Vinegar?
November 9, 2018 12:33 PM   Subscribe

We got this gift of balsamic vinegar sent from Italy. What should we do with it? Any suggestions simple or involved are appreciated!
posted by Pig Tail Orchestra to Food & Drink (20 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
if it is aged, and thick and syrupy:

drizzled over steak
for dipping slivers of good parmesano
strawberries! (seriously)

posted by supermedusa at 12:36 PM on November 9, 2018 [5 favorites]

Add it to EVOO and salt and dip bread into it.

Coat slabs of zucchini with it and EVOO and grill on the BBQ.

Add it to anything where you want a dash of vinegar acid, but more mellow and sweet.
posted by humboldt32 at 12:37 PM on November 9, 2018 [2 favorites]

You may send it to me and I will put that sh1t on -everything-.
posted by The otter lady at 12:38 PM on November 9, 2018 [13 favorites]

posted by fraula at 12:39 PM on November 9, 2018

Do you have an equally good olive oil to pair it with? The season's over, a caprese-style salad would be great - fresh tomatoes right from the garden, good basil, and thick slices of good mozzarella sprinkled with some chunky salt and drizzled with oil and balsamic is a great summer meal.

I recently cooked a beef roast and served it topped with caramelized onions and a balsamic drizzle. That was very tasty.

Pairing with a hard, salty cheese is an excellent suggestion.
posted by backseatpilot at 12:40 PM on November 9, 2018 [2 favorites]

Simple salad with lettuce, olive oil, salt and pepper, and drizzle this over it. YUM.

And don't worry about it going bad. It will last forever until you finish it. Enjoy it.
posted by hydra77 at 12:48 PM on November 9, 2018 [3 favorites]

Brussels sprouts
posted by rhizome at 1:01 PM on November 9, 2018 [4 favorites]

My favorite salad with a balsamic like this is baby kale + crumbled chevre + dried cranberries + slivered almonds. I usually add some olive oil too.
posted by capricorn at 1:02 PM on November 9, 2018 [3 favorites]

strawberries! (seriously)

And on vanilla ice cream too!
posted by carter at 1:07 PM on November 9, 2018 [8 favorites]

Adding to what has already been said, you can use it relatively sparingly for dipping, drizzling over salads or (already-cooked) meat, etc.

You can also gently cook it down until it's a very thick syrup reduction/glaze to to drizzle over fish, poultry, vegetables, pastas, salads, fruit, vanilla ice cream - anywhere its intense sweet tangy flavor would be complementary. A little goes a long way! When reduced like that the vinegar sharpness is minimized, leaving behind a wonderful deep complex sweetness. Be sure to clean the pot before it sets, though, because it's hell to clean up after it's dried on...
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:08 PM on November 9, 2018 [2 favorites]

We use it in a super-easy kale dish. Saute red onions, add kale. Then add water to steam the kale. Once the water has been absorbed or evaporates, turn off the heat and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Enjoy.
posted by terrapin at 1:34 PM on November 9, 2018

So, this looks like a $32-35 bottle, which means (assuming a rough parity of prices with U.S. imports) it ought to be decent for use directly on good food as suggested above--strawberries, parmesan, meats. I wouldn't use it for dressings or for cooking, where its flavor will be diluted or overwhelmed; it's probably a little bit too good for that.
posted by praemunire at 1:35 PM on November 9, 2018 [8 favorites]

Artichoke dipping sauce - brown some butter, then deglaze the pan with the vinegar. Be careful when you pour the hot vinegar into the butter though, it will foam up so do it slowly.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 1:38 PM on November 9, 2018 [3 favorites]

One of the BEST things I ever had was a Balsamic Gelato. So buy a good, super-premium gelato/Ice cream and drizzle on top.

A simple Greens+Fruit+Cheese+Nuts salad with this drizzled on top (after thinning with good EVOO).

Dont cook with this, or heat it too much. You want to enjoy this almost as is.
posted by indianbadger1 at 2:22 PM on November 9, 2018 [5 favorites]

I like to use it as a topper for vegetable ravioli with fried peppers and a bit of tomato sauce in there too.
posted by lafemma at 3:14 PM on November 9, 2018 [1 favorite]

I know everyone says to use it like diamond juice, but I would cut it with a tablespoon of maple syrup, a roughly equivalent amount of olive oil, some salt and consider myself a culinary genius by tossing arugula or any vegetable at all in it. Sweet or bitter vegetables would be especially nice--so arugula or sweet potatoes, for example.

Other than that: drizzle it over green apple slices and parmesan cheese, eat on toast.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 4:48 PM on November 9, 2018 [1 favorite]

Balsamic, brie and pears are meant to be together. Here’s one recipe.
posted by Empidonax at 7:16 PM on November 9, 2018 [2 favorites]

Look up bourbon and balsamic vinegar cocktail recipes
posted by whatdoyouthink? at 9:31 PM on November 9, 2018 [1 favorite]

Balsamic roasted carrots!
posted by neushoorn at 1:23 AM on November 10, 2018

Just to confirm that it's aged balsamic that's thick, lower acidity, and slightly sweet.

Nthing YES to steaks as a dipping sauce, like you would use a bernaise.

If you like Chicago/ charred crust, marinating in it for a few minutes can produce a similar effect. You'd probably want to do this on a grill, not a skillet - you're going to get caremlized sugar stuck to your pans.

I like to toss broccolini in it and wilt on a grill (BBQ). ~300'F covered, 2 minutes, flip, 2 minutes.

Also works with pepper leaves (like, chili pepper - they only have a hint of heat, are pretty thick, and has a delicate taste) but you only need something like 20 seconds on each side, no need to cover.

Vanilla icecream!

Mixed with a little high quality olive oil and a few spices to taste, makes an above par vinaigrette dressing.

I usually prefer a lighter red vinegar (Chinese style) for eating steamed crab, but aged balsamic works for me, too. I sometimes use it as a drizzle over dry-battered butter pan-fried prawns, langoustines, or sea scallops.
posted by porpoise at 4:42 PM on November 10, 2018

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